DEI goes paperless with Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
As many of our patients have already heard, the electronic medical record (EMR) has received much attention recently. An EMR is a paperless way of charting a patient’s visit, allowing offices to decrease dependence on paper and cutting back on errors in treatment and improving quality. Paper charts have been used to hold all of a patient’s information in one place. An EMR functions as a digital chart, preserving all of the visit information and past history in an electronic format.
The Dallas Ear Institute is currently moving all of our charting to an EMR. There are many advantages to using an EMR—the records are much more portable than a paper file, allowing the patient to request their record easily. Information can be stored in an EMR much more effectively than on paper, allowing your physician or audiologist access to the chart and all of the information within it without struggling to find the paper chart. Also, records can be stored indefinitely in an electronic format and easily assessed, whereas paper charts are typically stored off site after a certain number of years, making them very difficult to retrieve.
Often, you will be under the care of several physicians, and communication between your physicians is challenging. EMRs allows improved flow of information from one office to another and enhances communication between your physicians. With the spread of high speed internet connections, an EMR can also improve communication between our patients and our office, allowing us to respond more quickly to questions and provide better service to our patients. We also plan on being able to send out appointment reminders via e-mail, communicate test results and recommendations digitally, and enhance our communication with our patients on many levels.
Converting to an EMR is quite an endeavor. This process has been ongoing for the last several months, with many meetings in our office about which system to purchase and how to implement the EMR. All of our staff has been involved in the selection of a system as it greatly impacts their everyday working life. This conversion to a fully digital system not only impacts our physicians and staff, it also affects our patients. While rolling out the new technology, our patients can anticipate slight delays in the check in process and in our appointments, but we feel that the advantage of an EMR outweigh the negatives. Also, we will be asking our patients to visit our web site and input more of their medical and surgical history into their medical record, which actually ensures that the correct information is being placed in the patient chart. This allows us to review the information with you during your visit.
We are quite excited about our new EMR and know that this new technology will improve our practice for the long term. We are committed to providing the latest technology to our patients, and our new EMR is just another example of this.