5 EHR do's and don'ts for residents: AMA

EHRs are ubiquitous in healthcare and present a great way for resident physicians to free up time to spend at the patient bedside, the American Medical Association wrote May 9.

Here are five EHR do's and don'ts for residents, according to an AMA webinar:

Don't: Expect to be an expert on day one. "Even if you'll be using the same EMR in residency as you did in medical school, you will ultimately have to interact with the EMR in a more fast-paced, intensive way than you did as a student," Haidn Foster, MD, an internal medicine resident at Hershey, Pa.-based Penn State Health. "Trust in the process."

Do: Form positive habits. "You will see as you go further and further along into your career — one of the problems that we'll notice is when somebody copy-and-pastes something that's old or inaccurate," said Sanjay Desai, MD, chief academic officer and group vice president of medical education at the AMA. "That it is hard to recover from — those things, and those habits."

Don't: Ignore your inbox. "It's easy to get behind on your messages, especially on demanding inpatient rotations," Dr. Foster said. "Remember that, at the end of the day, thorough and timely responses to those messages are also an important part of patient care."

Do: Consider using dictation software. "It's a tremendous timesaver, and you can always edit as you go," Dr. Foster said. "Plus, it's a great wellness tip to keep your hands healthy from the repetitive strain of typing notes all day."

Don't: Be erratic with your notes. "Having your own routine of a checklist that you go through will help so much, because you know you won't miss anything," said Mohammed Ibrahim, DO, a family medicine resident at Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health. "You always go from vitals, to labs, to images, to micro, to pathology or whatever your checklist is."

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