One physician describes his ideal EHR: If it's not better than before, then trash it

Many frustrations with EHRs stem from the disconnect between developers of the technology and those who are using it: Clinicians often voice frustration that their needs and workflows were not considered when such technologies were designed. So one pediatrician based in Washington state detailed his ideal EHR on a post for The Health Care Blog.

Niran Al-Agba, MD, practices in Silverdale, Wash. He writes EHRs, generally, need to be user-friendly, free or low-cost and effective at reducing their workload. These are all characteristics many providers similarly desire in EHRs. In his post, Dr. Al-Agba detailed exactly what such an EHR would look like.

He writes his ideal EHR would look like a paper chart on a computer screen, with the first page resembling a standard intake form with general health background, medical and surgical history, allergies, immunizations, medication lists and relevant family history. The second page would be the problem list and the following pages would be growth charts and immunization records. Dr. Al-Agba suggests those pages would be accessible via tabs on the left side of the screen.

A click on one of those tabs would permit the physician to review those notes. There would also be tabs on the right side of the screen that would include lab results, radiology reports and quick notes from consulting physicians.

Dr. Al-Agba also writes of a dictation offering that would convert a spoken memo of an office visit into a SOAP format: subjective, objective, assessment and plan.

Electronic records should also be always available and usable, resistant to crashes and glitches, according to Dr. Al-Agba, who writes his medical office has been open throughout natural disasters and inclement weather, during which paper records were always accessible and usable.

Dr. Al-Agba also writes of the relationships between patients and providers that paper records hold, a tangible way to look back on an individual's life.

"Medical records are more than metadata on a computer screen; they are a sacred chronicle of our enduring connection with our patients in life, and even in death," he writes. "When an EMR can do that, I will be thrilled to embark on a digital journey. Until then, give me paper or give me death."

More articles on EHRs:

The EHRs used at US News' 10 top hospitals 
3 challenges inhibiting EHR use for patient safety research 
From novelty to care tool: The evolving usability of EHRs 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months