By Eric Fishman, MD
It is unlikely that you will find the process of implementing an Electronic Medical Record in your office to be an easy one. However, there are a variety of activities that you can do to simplify and streamline the process, and increase the probability of success.
First, please understand that not only do you need to learn a new complicated and sophisticated software program, but you also need to undertake a significant modification of your current workflow.
At EMRConsultant.com we believe that we have realized a mechanism to split these two processes, thereby significantly increasing the probability of a successful implementation.
Assuming that you have made a decision that you will be implementing an EMR in the ‘not too distant future’, but are not ready to purchase one immediately, we have found that modifying your workflow to one which will more closely model the workflow that will be imposed upon you by the EMR can be very helpful during the extended implementation process.
Our current recommendations are that, again assuming you have not yet chosen which EMR you will be utilizing, are that you start to modify your workflow by utilizing a Tablet PC, and voice recognition software, so that you can get used to the process of keeping a portable computer by your side, and completing as much of the patient documentation as possible during the actual encounter.
Our current specific recommendations in this regard are that you utilize a Motion Computing LE1600 Tablet PC, with 1 GB of RAM. If you know that you will be utilizing an ASP model EMR eventually, you can save a few dollars by purchasing one with a 30 GB hard drive. If you are unsure, or if you know that you’ll be utilizing a client server model, we would then recommend that you purchase the tablet with a 60 GB hard drive.
Adding Dragon Medical 9 Medical voice recognition software, and possibly a Bluetooth wireless microphone completes the initial setup.
It is our opinion that this hardware / software combination will be compatible with the overwhelming majority of EMR software packages that you are likely considering as your final choice.
There are a number of advantages to utilizing this model during the extended implementation procedure. You will have spread out the costs associated with implementing an EMR by months. The above configuration is likely to cost less than $6000.00, and you will start saving money from the onset, as your transcription costs will either be significantly diminished or altogether eliminated, thereby allowing you to save toward what will be the larger expense of the software licenses and implementation fees.
Further, there will be many fewer issues you will need to deal with during the actual implementation of the EMR itself. You will already be familiar with the hardware that you will be carrying around. You will already be familiar with the most appropriate input mechanism for a portion of your report – namely Dragon Medical, and your workflow will have been modified such that your medical reports will now be completed while your patient is leaving the office.
If you have any questions about our recommendations, we will be happy to hear from you at 888.519.3100.
Eric Fishman, MD
Managing Member EHR Scope, LLC