The EMR is allowing me to think about working as a part of a team.
My resident did a chart audit of my diabetic patients using remote access to the EMR. It did not take her that long for 70 patients, because the data was in the flowsheets, but I would like to have automated audits in the future. The results are not bad; (2003 audit results are in brackets):
% meeting targets (July 2003 results)
BP <140/90=83% (65%)
LDL <2.6=63% (50%)
HbA1c <8.4=81% (74%)
There is a new clinical pharmacist in our family medicine teaching unit at my hospital. She can do consultations for our patients who need extra help with their meds. What I was thinking of doing is identifying patients from the audit who need intensification of their meds (sugar, bp, lipids) and referring them to her.
Because I am paperless, I will not do this as a paper based referral. I will give the clinical pharmacist access to my EMR as a team member, just like my resident has. Because I don't know exactly what the scope of practice for a pharmacist is, I will configure the EMR permissions together with her. The EMR has detailed permissions (permission to view, permission to sign off, permission to prescribe etc, for each part of the EMR); we will need to discuss this on set up so that she has appropriate permissions, not more and not less than needed. I figure that, as the family physician, I am the custodian of the primary care record (I don't want to call it a chart, it is becoming increasingly different from a paper chart); therefore I need to think about who can and should have access and input for this record. The "pharmacist" profile, once set, is then available to my whole group. I have an extra RSA security fob for the pharmacist, and this will log and identify her for every chart access just like every member of the team.
Once this is set up, we will mail letters to the identified patients to let them know that the pharmacist may be contacting them. She can access their chart remotely from anywhere with internet access, and call to set up an appointment anywhere convenient; it does not have to be at my office. When she sees the pt, she will be accessing their EMR chart live, and she can enter information directly in their clinical record, live. That is, it is a fully shared chart, with remote access. If we continue, she can also access the chart later for monitoring and callback. The EMR has detailed audit capabilities, so I am able to find out what each team member is doing, and who accesses the chart. If the patient needs to see me for follow-up, the pharmacist has access to my schedule, and can book the appointment.
She is coming to my office Thursday; we'll give it a try.