Overview of EHR Systems
Electronic health record (EHR) systems have been around for a while, built to replace the original method of recording on pen and paper, but they have yet to become simple and efficient enough to make impactful differences in the lives of the health care practitioners who use them. Many hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare businesses have come to the realization that EHR systems have actually created more hassle for healthcare practitioners, have given rise to physician burnout, and have lowered productivity.
Impact of Integration
Medical transcription and virtual or remote scribe services have become one of the most effective solutions to bring productivity back to EHR systems and reduce physician burnout. You talk faster than you type, so if you have the ability to use a tool that documents encounters for you, it prevents physicians from staying later at the office simply to finish administrative tasks and eliminates pajama time.
An example of this is in reporting. The documentation from the recorded transcriptions allows for EHR systems to run the reporting processes more efficiently. Healthcare practitioners use a variety of reports to determine a patient’s prognosis status. If they can dictate these reports using a transcription device, the documentation process from the recording is done much faster and is easier to send to other people if and when it’s necessary. There are a variety of reports that this workflow can apply toward such as consultation reports, client medical history reports, laboratory reports, and discharge reports among others.
Common issues that health facilities encounter with using voice recognition software have less to do with the integration with the EHR system and more to do with how it integrates with current business operations. A study was conducted when the Naval Hospital Pensacola offered transcription services to its medical staff and found that much of the success of this integration is based on training and basic logistics of the transcription services.
In regards to training, those who received training were less likely to stop using the device, while of those who did discontinue, 30% cited inadequate training as a reason for quitting. Other common reasons for discontinuation included slowness (due to time to correct errors), failure to recognize the user’s voice, and inability to live up to expectations. Therefore it’s critical to communicate reasonable expectations and best practices to ensure success with the integration. Examples of best practices include speaking clearly, not mumbling, and being consistent in the format you use to record information rather than jumping all over the place. This will prevent wasting time on correcting errors and make information easier to find.
For those who continued to use the voice recognition tools, 93% stated that it saved them 11 to over 60 minutes per day, 93% said it improved their EHR notes, and 63% said it resulted in same-day encounter closing more than 75% of the time. Overall, those who received training and continued to use it found great utility with this tool.
When deciding what transcription service to use, be sure that it integrates with your existing EHR system. Most medical transcription services are not able to integrate with a variety of EHR systems, so choose wisely or you will still be forced to manually copy and paste information into the EHR.
If you don’t want to worry about setting up integration with the EHR system yourself and the potential troubleshooting that comes with it, note that some companies will offer set-up services to take that concern off your hands. They also have flexible versions of the transcription tools based on how your practice operates its business because they are available in a variety of forms. Many are software products to install on your computers, but if you want your healthcare practitioners to be mobile in the clinical documentation process, there are mobile app options that you can download onto phones or tablets instead.
The Power of Mobile Integration
Having mobility can add a completely new layer of efficiency to your healthcare facility because your healthcare practitioners don’t have to wait until they are back in their office to finish paperwork; they are able to do it wherever they are. In addition, being mobile can actually deliver better patient engagement and patient satisfaction by helping to restore face-to-face interaction in the patient encounter experience.
Click here to learn the untapped potential of mobile by downloading this free, ultimate guide to mobile in healthcare.