The Positive Impact of Customizing Your EHR
- By Shah Rook Shameem
- Jun 20 , 2016
“When you have expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.” That is a quote by Ryan Reynolds; a quote that has been co-opted by most of the current EHR system providers. Funny, right? Yes, it is hilarious, but it is very close to reality. Today’s EHR vendors seem to think that the out-of-the-box system they provide should be just accepted and the person using it, that’s you, should learn to live with any flaws or imperfections it has. In a world where even McDonald’s lets you make customizations, does that seem right?
You deserve better. You deserve to have your needs met. You deserve an EHR system that will envelop you like your favourite pair of pajamas and make you feel your best, because you deserve it and because you need to feel your best to give the best care. How do you do that? By having an EHR that is customized for you. Customizing an EHR system can do many things. Like, improve workflow and efficiency in your practice. But the impact of designing and implementing tailored systems doesn’t end at providers and their staff; a well-planned and implemented EHR can positively affect practice administration, medical partners and patients. Finally, a game of domino that doesn’t make you rethink life decisions.
Why EHR Customization Matters
A customized EHR system can meet the needs of and respond to the challenges of a practice much better than a generic system. Custom EHR systems provide more intuitive experiences than out-of-the-box records systems thanks to specialty-specific tools, templates and more. While the generic system is forcing you to write down the symptoms of the patients, the custom system is reading the pattern and gives auto-fill suggestions, which could help increase patient-doctor facetime and cut down on the time spent on the EHR.
From family medicine to surgery, there is no one-size-fits-all system that can be effective for all medical practices.
An EHR system for small practices would look very different than one for a large, multi-facility group and medical specialties have very different needs than internists.
Generic systems do not accommodate for these differences. Additionally, they can often bombard specialty practices with tools that they will never use and fall short on features they actually need. Kind of like how they make you take all those basics classes in college. Did intro to Geography come in useful? No, because no one wants to knows where Alabama is. But now you have to use WebMD every time you have a patient with more than 3 symptoms.
Who will benefit from EHR Customization?
Typically, the first to benefit from a tailored, customized EHR system are providers and their staff. From the waiting room to the exam room, EHR customization benefits doctors, technicians, nurses, patients and their families.
Customization will lead to reduced aggravation for providers, longer time spent with patients and more accurate and useful health data.
Uniquely designed scheduling modules can eliminate frustration and time lost from grappling with inefficient generic systems so that both staff and patients enjoy a more streamlined, personalized experience.
EHR customization supports best practices and “meaningful use” as well, built around the adapting needs and goals of providers and their patients. The potential for improved care grows with the increased accuracy of data, communication logs, organized test results,and other benefits of using a custom health records system.
Using a Customized EHR
Busy practices of all specialties know the value of managing flow. Unfortunately, generic EHR systems can often slow down – or even interrupt – this flow, leading to a cascade of preventable issues. There are documented examples of custom EHRs improving practice efficiency and overall data quality, which affects patients as well as an entire practice by shifting energy away from the computer and back to the patient.
EHR customization examples can include helpful tools such as consent forms paired with procedure templates, accessible physician call lists for providers and others.
A well-customized EHR system supports and simplifies data management from technician workups to examinations, or from procedures to scheduling, all allowing for less time on the computer and more time with patients. This improved experience allows patients to come away with better overall satisfaction with their care and they’ll be repeat customers. Unfortunate, but if they have to go somewhere, might as well be with you.
An EHR system’s impact reaches beyond simply the providers and the customization benefits everyone involved with a medical practice. Even the janitor, who can now spend more time playing pranks on that first year intern. A custom EHR system allows for less frustration from providers and staff, higher quality of captured data and enhanced practice flow which will foster a better overall experience for all parties.
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