Posted By Monique Dever On August 30, 2016
There are numerous articles on line about the concerns over using Electronic Health Records (EHR) software. These concerns include all the same things EHRs are supposed to improve – accuracy, security, and even time-consumption among other things. This is especially true during the EHR adoption implementation phase, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Typically, it seems to be the more experienced providers, whether they are registration staff, clinical staff or billing, that have a majority of the problems with conversion to a new system. Like the old saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. We think that is bogus, however, the study concluded that “Resident physicians had a smaller number of inaccuracies (5.3% vs 17.3%) and omissions (16.8% vs 33.9%) compared to attending physicians.” So, accordingly, the issues over using an EHR rather than paper would appear to be a generational issue.
On the other hand, the study also indicated that “during the initial phase of implementation of an EHR, inaccuracies were more common in progress notes in the EHR compared to the paper charts” (24.4% vs 4.4%). During implementation! So it makes one wonder, did the group under scrutiny of the study just not get adequate ample training before implementation and was there just too much going on to get real life findings? Any environment in turmoil will not function as fluidly as during normal circumstances, which is why thorough onsite training is critical before launching into a new technology or process.
So, we agree there is certainly merit to the results of the study because we have all seen scenarios where the old dogs couldn’t or didn’t want to learn new tricks. And it should at least warrant awareness of the potential problem to watch out for during your implementation phase. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and we have also been witness to cases where these obstacles were overcome with proper training – old and new dogs alike.