Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Week 1

Here we are, one week after switching to the new system for billing and scheduling. We've been calling the helpdesk often, whenever we're not sure of something. The scheduling part is working well. We're starting to figure out the ins and outs of the phonebook in the software application; my staff is switching from rolodex to computer. I've started putting in patient recalls, like abnormal pap smears.

I took my Tablet home over the weekend, to try it out. It works well as an electronic book because it is comfortable to hold and read while lying on a couch. I was at a meeting, took it out, and found a cluster of people around me; the tablet definitely has a high coolness factor. I showed it to a couple of patients, and told them that I would be using it in the exam room next month. I am starting to think that a wireless network and PC Tablet is definitely the way to go for EMR. I've bought a wireless mouse, and will probably buy a numeric keypad (I find entering numbers for billing much slower without the keypad).

On Friday, I received remote access to the hospital's database from home or office. I can now see XR reports, lab data, medications and consultation notes for inpatients and patients in Emergency. I'm not sure how I will put that into the EMR, perhaps cut and paste. There needs to be integration between the two systems, perhaps as an "import data" function.

Since Monday, I've looked a the CDC website twice to see if one of my patients needed malaria prophylaxis; I've printed two asthma management plans for patients from the FPME website; and I've printed contact information on the Alzheimer's society for a patient from the Toronto 211 site. I'm starting to develop a list of favourite websites at the office. The Tablet still sits in my consultation room, wired to my network and printer, so I go there to look up and print things. I can see that once I'm wireless and unbound, I'll be doing a lot more of this; that will come after I start using the EMR, April 3rd.

All in all, no major start-up glitches, and we're still sane. I'll be taking a week off for March break, and come back for the EMR training sessions afterwards.



Anonymous said...

It's really interesting to read your introduction to EMR. We have start it since 2 years with Purkinje and it's lot of work to modified the workflow of physician but not the secretary one. Good luck, it's a wonderful tool for us in medecine

Jean-francois rancourt md
Montmagny Quebec

Michelle Greiver said...

Thank you. It still is a fair amount of work to make sure the front office is running well. Actually, I can see lots of things that can be done much better with EMR, starting with clinical communication (I hate these little pieces of paper attached to the charts--I always manage to lose them). You are right, though, the biggest piece will come after EMR implementation. I think it was a good idea to split Practice Management and EMR.