Team care model may free up physicians from EHR documentation

Physicians who received in-room support for EHR documentation reported greater satisfaction, according to research recently published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

The model consists of at least two or three care team coordinators, who are nurses or medical assistants, which help relieve each physician of his or her administrative responsibilities in order to focus on the patient, according to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians News. The team coordinator may begin the patient visit by completing tasks such as taking the individual's history, ensuring his or her medications are accurate and planning the appointment agenda based on the patient's concerns.

After the initial administrative tasks are completed, the physician joins the appointment and talks with the patient, face-to-face, without needing to input any data into the EHR. The physician then performs a physical exam and discusses a diagnosis and care plan with the patient while the team coordinator, who is still in the room, records notes EHR documentation. Once the physician exits, the team coordinator remains with the patient to "review the care plan; set up referrals, labs and follow-up visits; and provide health coaching as indicated," according to the report.

Implementing the model has been successful at various hospitals, including Greenbay, Wis.-based Bellin Health, who piloted the approach in 2014 and experienced an increase in clinician satisfaction from 34 percent to 88 percent, the researchers wrote, according to the report.

More articles on EHRs:
House members seek to advance EHR interoperability between VA, DOD
Physician viewpoint: Maintaining privacy of patient data can be an issue with portals
Tanner Health begins Epic EHR rollout: 4 things to know

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