Gastroenterologists have relied on electronic data for quite some time. From thin slice CT scanners and MRI’s to fluoroscopic-guided procedures, the accuracy and reliability of these data systems are paramount for delivering high quality gastroenterology care. Fortunately, the speed of technology has led to more sophisticated patient information systems that allow today’s gastroenterologist to integrate all types of electronic file types and data into a single, comprehensive Electronic Medical Records ( EMR ) system.
Increasing subspecialization in medicine has also affected the software industry. Physicians in different specialties often have such unique needs that require specialty-specific EMR’s. Choosing the one that is right for you, however, can be a daunting challenge considering the resources of time and money that must be invested before you know 100% if you’ve made the right choice.
The EMR System you choose needs to be able to integrate into your unique office setting. For example, if you do physical exams, colonoscopies, and other procedures 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. 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.
VERIFY EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY
Whether you are clinic-based or see most of your patients in the hospital, the groups and health care systems frequently use different imaging machines and EMR software than they you have in your office. Choosing an EMR based on the myriad of consultant’s equipment is difficult at best. For example, if you use the Pentax Linear Endoscopic Ultrasound EG-3630U in your office, but a patient brings you a CD-ROM from a consultant that used Olympus EU-M20, you need to make sure that the EMR you choose to grow your practice will be compatible.
BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR EMR SYSTEM
Let’s assume for the moment that we’ve helped you insure hardware and software compatibility with all of the physicians and hospitals you interact with. At the end of the day, the right EMR for your office should make your life easier, not harder. The daily operations of your gastroenterology practice should not have to adapt to accommodate an antiquated EMR. It should be the other way around.
Furthermore, if a patient with an urgent upper GI bleed is in the Emergency Department waiting for a STAT hematocrit, you shouldn’t have to wait there for a lab result before taking the patient to the operating room. Their critical H & H should trigger a combination of audible and visual notifications from the ER or the OR. The goal with a safer EMR is to have a system in place, which you can trust to alert you to critical developments.
EASE OF USE
The last thing your sophisticated cardiology suite and EMR System should be is a burden to those that use it the most – your office personnel. Verify that your EMR will seamlessly integrate patient appointments, reminders, and other scheduling details.
Special tests such as fasting lipid profiles often require that your staff spend time sending out reminders and tracking down results prior to their appointment with you. An EMR System that could integrate automatic emails or phone calls one week prior to an appointment would improve efficiency.
From ordering special materials prior to nuclear studies, to tracking which personnel log 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.
PATIENT IMAGING AND DICOM COMPATIBILITY
In order to discuss patient imaging, we need to clarify the issue of system and software compatibility. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard construct used increasingly by Health Information Systems, but it is not universal. Because you will view color video of ultrasounds, CT’s, MRI’s roentgenograms, and graphical data, the EMR System you choose will likely need to meet this standard. To ensure that all of the equipment and software you use can be accessed and viewed within your EMR interface, it will be important to navigate the technical areas of licensing fees versus free viewers and custom integration programming.
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.
GASTROENTEROLOGY EMR CHECKLIST
GASTROENTEROLOGY EMR / EHR TEMPLATES
- Abdominal Distention
- Abdominal Pain
- Abnormal Colonoscopy
- Abnormal EGD
- Anal Fissure
- Anorectal Disease
- Benign Esophageal Stricture
- Bowel Obstruction
- Chronic Constipation
- Colon Cancer
- Crohn’s Disease
- Diverticular Disease
- Esophageal Problems
- Gallbladder Disease
- Gallbladder Problems
- Gastric Mass
- GI Bleeding
- Lower GI
- Peptic Ulcer Disease
- Perianal or Rectal Abscess
- Perineal Condyloma
- Pruritus Ani
- Rectal Bleeding
- Upper GI
- Weight Gain/Loss
GASTROENTEROLOGY EMR / EHR INTEGRATION OF ENDOSCOPIC DATA
- Pentax Duodenoscope ED-3440T
- Olympus Duodenoscope JF-100, JF-130
- Olympus Enteroscope SIF-Q240
- Pentax Linear Endoscopic Ultrasound EG-3630U
- Olympus EU M20, M30, & M60
INTEGRATION OF DOPPLER AND ULTRASOUND DATA
- Acuson Cypress
- Acuson Sequoia
- Unitixs Vascular Systems
- Multilab Vascular Systems
- Summit Doppler
- Life Dop Doppler System
GASTROENTEROLOGY EMR / EHR FEATURES
- Device Interoperability
- Endoscopy Image Management
- Endoscopy Suite Integration
- Feed registries as developed (hepatitis)
- GI medication with dynamic alerts
- Reflect gastro and/or endoscopic clinical workflows
- Surgery Planner