The medical community has had quite a challenge to convert to entirely medical records and, in many ways, is still in transition. Dermatologists frequently enjoy straightforward practice settings that integrate patient data on surgical procedures, patients’ historical data, and newer technologies that continue to emerge. Any more, the accuracy and reliability of these data systems are improving and high quality dermatology care is being increasingly streamlined. The sophisticated technology is undermined, however, if each piece of the dermatologist’s arsenal isn’t integrated into a comprehensive Electronic Medical Records ( EMR ) system.
DERMATOLOGY SPECIFIC WORKFLOW
The term “workflow” refers here to an EMR that adapts to the way you conduct your office activities. Instead of being a cumbersome addition to your workload, the right EMR System for you can and should easily integrate into your unique office setting. For example, if you do physical exams, laser treatments and phlebotomy all in different rooms, you need your EMR to be able to automatically migrate all of the patient’s data so that it is accessible from any computer throughout your office. The days of manually scanning, uploading, and transferring patient data are over. Therefore, we will begin here with the assumption that all patient records will be easily accessible from one user interface, not multiple software programs for different types of records. This includes drawings you use to identify the locations of lesions with respect to anatomy. As you will read in a moment, all of this information can be housed within one EMR System if you find an EMR specifically for Dermatologists.
VERIFY EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY
Many Dermatologists acquire new patients from a host of community referral locations, with physicians that use different machines and software than they own in their office. You need to be able to verify their previous imaging for the best possible patient care and to avoid repeating any tests, particularly for staging various cancers. The problem is that trying to choose an EMR based on the myriad of consultant’s equipment is difficult at best. For example, if you use the DicomWorks viewer for viewing radiographic images, but a patient brings you a CD-ROM from a consultant that used CT Scanner from Toshiba, the Aquilion 16-Slice, you need to make sure that the EMR you choose to grow your practice will be compatible.
If you consult on patients in the hospital or another setting separate from your primary office, the right EMR can really help increase your efficiency. First, being able to view the patient’s record remotely while your taking the consulting physician’s phone call can be extremely helpful. Second, you can synchronize the data on your laptop or handheld device directly into your EMR. Taking your laptop of portable digital assistant with you on your visit to the away patient can save you time by not having to type notes a second time after the consult is finished.
DRAWING DERMATOLOGIC IMAGES IN YOUR EMR
A growing trend is for physicians to use tablet PC’s at bedside. This lends itself very easily to using EMR’s that allow you to draw on anatomical diagrams directly in the patient’s record. Traditional desktop computers also allow this feature. For example, you can outline a nevus and the EMR Software will convert that to an image file that is saved with the patient record. This can be particularly useful when tracking growth. You will need to put specific notes in the text areas of the EMR for it to be searchable later.
BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR EMR SYSTEM
Dermatologists are known to conduct rather extensive excisions of carcinomas in the clinic setting. Your EMR should record vital signs in real time and trigger audible and visual notifications in the event of abnormal readings. You shouldn’t have to watch the monitor continually; rather you can control all the parameters and alarms exactly how you want them to behave.
EASILY TRACK STAFF AND PATIENTS’ ACTIVITIES
Appointment reminders and recurring laboratory studies frequently require valuable time from your staff. An EMR System that could integrate automatic emails or phone calls one week prior to an appointment would improve efficiency.
In addition, your EMR should timestamp and track every authorized user’s activities. From ordering special materials prior to nuclear studies, to tracking who logs into the EMR, a lot of repetitive tasks can be integrated into an office system that curbs human error and improves your practice’s measurable outcomes.
This has built a substantial case for using an experienced EMR consultant without the financial bias of a corporate sales team. Call 888.519.3100 or visit www.EMRconsultant.com to speak with an expert that can help you make your investment wisely.
Dermatology EMR/Suite Checklist
DERMATOLOGY-SPECIFIC EMR/EHR FEATURES:
- Ability to bill for multiple lesion treatment at one visit
- Ability to fully analyze dermatological lesions, with the ability to describe them in detail, including graphically:
- Dermatologic operations, including indications
- Dermatopathology Report Import/Interface
- Evaluation of MOH’s procedure
- Graphics of each area of the body upon which to draw lesions
DERMATOLOGY-SPECIFIC EMR/EHR TEMPLATES:
- Actinic Keratosis
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Contact Dermatitis
- Cryosurgery, Shave Biopsy/Removal
- Diabetes Mllitus
- Drug Eruption
- Griscelli Syndome
- Hair Loss
- Insect Bites
- Mole Changes
- Parathyroid Disorder
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Skin Cancer Screening
- Suture Removal
- Tinea Versicolor
- Varicose Veins
- Acne Surgery
- Alpha Hydroxyacids for Sun Damage
- Antibiotic Treatment
- Daily Face Care
- Daily Foot Care
- Daily Skin and Scalp Care
- Laser Hair Removal
- Liquid Nitrogen Treatment
- Poison Ivy Treatment
- Propecia Therapy
- Skin Care Consult
- Wart Treatment
INTEGRATION OF DATA FROM VITAL SIGN MACHINES
- DRE Waveline
- DRE ASM 6000
- DRE Trax Transport Monitor
- DRI Vida Multi-Parameter
- DRE Signal SP VSM
- Tidalwave 715Sp
- Respironics Novametrix
- BCI Capnocheck Plus
- Welch Allyn Atlas
- BCI Mini-Torr Plus NIBP/O2
- Mindray PM8000
- DRE Axis 4 Portable
- DRE Waveline EZ
- Philips 863051 Model C1
- Philips Intellivue MP40
- Critikon Dinamap
- Datex AS3
- Philips M2636B Telemon