Until recently, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems were actively being used by only some of the most sophisticated doctors and hospitals. However, at the moment, as a result of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act’s “Meaningful Use” inducements, portion of the American Retrieval and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), organizations are reaching out to buy and implement EMR systems. Nevertheless, it does not mean that they are utilizing it. Physicians are disenchanted by spending most of their time with the computer instead of their patients, therefore, they are not acquiring full benefit of the stunning capabilities that the EMR software holds in it.

Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managing services provider, has emphasized on the 5 common mistakes in managing patient record in a physician’s practice.

In this article

Unconsolidated record

To one’s amazement, there is no single Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system with the abilities to keep track of the complete data of patient in a single consolidated place. For this reason, data of the patient is kept at different storage sources. While doing so, the biggest mistake, committed by any of the record keeping authorities, is to not keep a track of the sources with relevant information of a single patient. Therefore, while reviewing the record of a particular patient, doctor may get a wrong impression by missing quality information.

Tips: To overcome this fairly common problem, it is necessary to devise a proper management plan of the project in order to interlink and consolidate the data of the patient for easy access and review.

Inadequate Imaging Storage

Keeping a record of images is an important part of the patient record management. Although there are many Image Archiving Systems available in the market, EMR is quite an effective solution to this basic theme of storing images, however, it doesn’t allow multiple imaging storage facilities for a single patient. Because nowadays, imaging is emerging as an integral part of investigation in field like Cardiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly necessary to have system with multiple image storage capacity. It is necessary not only for the physicians but also for the finance department to store a complete record of a patient with their picture, identity card, license etc.

Tips: Hospitals should have an integrated system of image saving linked to the patient’s record.

Untrained EMR Operators

One of the mistakes that, any hospital or practice, can make is by not acquiring the 100% benefits of an EMR system. And this happens when the operator of an EMR system is not a skilled person and is merely a person who is trained by a colleague. Therefore, when it comes to taking complete benefit from all the features of a system, it is not done so because the person is also acquainted with the skills he is taught. Therefore, it causes hindrance in running a smooth and efficient practice.

Tips: Proper trained personnel should be employed for efficient functionality and record management through an EMR system.   

Inadequacy in Meaningful use Stage 2 Implementation

After ensuring the entire implementation of the Meaningful use stage 1, now it shall be further ensured that the organizations already utilizing EMR under stage 1 should be in compliance with Stage 2 Meaningful use. The stage 2 system states that the organization should provide a patient portal on the system for an access to their record. At the same time it is necessary for the physician to be able to use the platform for electronic prescription of drugs according to the record of the patient. Any organization found not to utilize these tasks by October 2015, would be held responsible.

Tips: One should start implementing the system rule from now on, so that the staff, patient and physicians are adequately trained by the time deadline approaches.

Lack of Integration and Inaccessible Patient Data

Organizations like hospitals and individual medical practices get hold of voluminous data on daily basis. Data concerning the patient if not kept in a planned or organized way, may lead to worse prognosis and even in lawsuit cases. Storing the patient data merely for the purpose of keeping the record is not enough until it is readily accessible for a quick review. Properly planned and organized patient data doesn’t only result in better outcome and patient safety but also have shown to be promising in cost-effectiveness.

Tips: Integrating and interconnecting the data through proper planning and rationalization can help solve this problem.