Electronic health records (EHR) are part and parcel of basic practice management for any private clinic worth talking about. No matter how good your clinical skills might be, you’re always going to need a safe and secure place to store your patient information. This article examines some of the ways in which a well-organised EHR module within your practice management software can help you to run your clinic better and provide the best possible care for your patients.
Bring Yourself Back to Medicine
The improper implementation of EHR systems has in the past merely created data entry robots out of highly skilled clinical practitioners. This simply should not be the case. There is no real reason you as a clinician should bear this administrative burden, drowning in paperwork, when you should be out there practising medicine.
Handling patient information by yourself without the support of a quality EHR causes you to:
- Get tired more quickly and experience fatigue
- Become distracted, letting the doctor-patient relationship suffer
- Create extra work for yourself when there need not be any
With the right choice of EHR software, you can use technology to your advantage. The real purpose of an electronic health record is to organise information in a way that:
- Improves clinical decision-making
- Helps format documents to permit minimal manual data entry
- Collects medical history, forms, lab results all in one place
EHR Software Can Combat Clinician Burnout
EHR software is meant to organise your patient information in a way that allows you to unburden your mind and focus on being a clinician rather than a bureaucrat. Relying on paper notes or even digitised notes when organised poorly means that you end up suffering from stress more, not less. Since clinician burnout has been well recognised over the past few years as playing a major role in patient safety, it’s definitely worth your while to look into getting a better EHR.
It has been known for decades that a career in healthcare is no easy path to walk down. However, the sacrifices made to pursue such a career should not extend to actually burning out and being unable to effectively continue your work. In some areas, clinician burnout is even being described as a public health crisis as doctors retire early and fewer of their juniors are left wanting to take up their mantle.
We have to actively look into ways of reducing the pressure placed on healthcare workers of all backgrounds and remove obstacles such as excessive paperwork and other causes of cognitive overload.
In order to reduce clinician burnout and boost patient care quality by implementing EHR systems, we need to look at the following:
- Simplify existing workflows
- Never again settle for “toughing it out”
- Examine how digitisation and automation can help
- Choose an EHR that makes logical sense
- Use current practices to inform future changes
- Make sure changes are human-centric
- Focus on building a healthcare ecosystem with an EHR as its core