The majority of doctors today still find electronic medical records scary.
I’m not here to debate that.
Some people just prefer to do things with pen and paper. In fact, though most of the stuff I do is digital, I still bring my pen and notebook everywhere I go. We really can’t eliminate the need for it completely.
What I’m here to talk about are the Pros of using mainly electronic medical records to keep your patients’ records rather than using pen and paper alone.
We believe there are so many more benefits you can get by transitioning to digital records. Given that they don’t just help your practice but also potentially your patients, isn’t that reason enough to take a look at them?
5 Huge Reasons Why You Should Transition to Electronic Medical Health Records
Paper Is Severely Limited
Let’s start with the obvious: paper piles up easily and takes up a ton of space. A lot of our doctors came to us because they simply had their paper files piled up to the ceiling.
Paper is expensive to copy, expensive to transport, expensive to store and it’s very easy to destroy. Though paper is recyclable, there are still negative effects on the environment when you operate primarily with it. Plus, the information written on medical records is confidential, so recycling isn’t really the best way to deal with it in healthcare.
Paper isn’t the best choice for security. We all know how confidential your patient records are but storing them in paper isn’t really secure. For one, you won’t know who has seen it. There’s no way to track views for a paper document. It’s also very easy to misplace and lose one. Take a look at this data from the US, for example:
Contrast all this with EHRs/EMRs like SeriousMD where you use paper only if you need to. It’s less of a burden on the environment, on your waste disposal system, on your security system, and more.
Leap Forward, Not Back
Almost all industries are currently going digital. This enables them to retrieve data quickly and efficiently. That efficiency also enables them to analyze trends and anticipate issues.
Things like that (data retrieval, analysis, and processing are obviously) important even for the healthcare industry. Using paper makes them enormously labor-intensive. Grabbing data from an enormous stack of files and analyzing it manually can take literal weeks with paper records.
Add computer power and smart processing to the equation and you can condense that time into a matter of days or even minutes. In some cases, getting that data quickly can even make the difference between an effective and inadequate course of treatment.
And business-wise, it also matters. It can make the difference too between having a satisfied patient who thinks you work too slowly and a dissatisfied one who believes you take his well-being urgently enough to work as quickly and effectively as possible.
The importance of EMRs is never discussed in the school setting but clearly, it should be. This technology can not only save lives but also your practice.
Patients are already demanding more digital healthcare services. It won’t be long before their expectations lead to them excluding providers who can’t satisfy that demand (the laggard incumbents in the S-curve above). The challenge for providers is now to keep up with the digital curve instead of falling behind.
Access to Important Patient Data
There are many doctors who look at treating patients as a 24/7 commitment. That can be a little challenging to live up to when you aren’t actually in the clinic all day or carrying all your patients’ records with you. What if you need to refer to them in a jiffy?
With electronic medical records, it’s always on hand and you can access their data when you need it.
It’s common for patients to not bring all the documents or lab results you need. Through electronic data, you are no longer working with missing information. The records are all there within your reach, enabling you to offer the best possible care for your patients.
Integrated Data and Coordinated Care
One of the main reasons we started SeriousMD was a personal experience. Cancer patients typically have multiple doctors working with them at the same time. You have to keep telling the same story and over again, keep everybody in the loop, show the tests & results, and have regular sessions. The information isn’t always consistent and things tend to get lost.
Health is critical: it’s not a game. You need the most up-to-date information and results to make the best decisions as misdiagnosis is one of the top 3 reasons for patient death in several countries.
Through a platform like SeriousMD, doctors are able work with integrated data (patient-doctor and doctor-doctor features) to offer coordinated care.
It’s common for doctors who have been exposed to generic EMR’s to think that it’s a burden, rather than a helpful ally.
Because of that, they tend to automatically go back to pen and paper.
But good EMR’s should improve your productivity, not hurt it.
In our case, the last thing we want is to affect the doctor-patient relationship negatively. We help you keep complete records easily and we also automate a lot of processes to save you even more time. From helping obstetricians auto-calculating Age of Gestation to tracking graphs for vitals to see accurate improvements or detect issues, sending out reminders, setting future appointment schedules and more!
Having an EMR also removes your heavy reliance on staff members because of easy information retrieval.
“My secretary is absent and I’m lost!”
Have you ever found yourself saying that or maybe you’ve heard of it from another doctor? Chances are, you have. With an EMR system, you won’t have to worry about that,
Still Scary: Integrating Digital with an Established Process?
One of the main things we hear regularly is how digitizing records will slow down the consultation process.
We considered this for a long time, which is why SeriousMD puts a lot of emphasis on design, so it can adapt to different doctors, their setups and processes.
Scenario 1: A common scenario that’s regularly mentioned to us is when a doctor wants to keep records digitally but wants to continue things by writing.
A lot of doctors who use SeriousMD today are actually writing on the app directly with our scribble template plus their finger or an Apple Pencil. Some of them continue to write using their pen and paper but digitize it right after the consultation by taking a picture of what they wrote and they’ll just get rid of the paper afterwards.
Obviously, there are limitations to keeping notes like this as you cannot accurately study the trends BUT it solves a couple of pain points for many doctors, which is accessing their patient data anywhere, anytime as well as freeing up space in their clinic.
Scenario 2: Another scenario is when a doctor has a staff of 5 or more and wants them to be able to work together in real-time inside the clinic. The secretary is stationed in a specific place but nurses are mobile, going around the clinic. SeriousMD works with multiple devices at the same time and that enables them to work together and see the latest data in real-time. By the time the doctor sees the patient, his device would have the most up-to-date information and that greatly improves the consultation quality and duration.
I rarely use the phrase “there’s an app for that!” But in this case, there really is, no matter how you operate your practice.
You Just Need to Give It a Try
Making the transition to electronic medical records shouldn’t be hard. Sure, there’s always a learning curve with anything new, but it’s not always a high bar to get over.
There have been lots of negative perceptions burned into the minds of physicians over the past years due to archaic software available in hospitals, schools and even online. Combine those with bad design and physicians, old and new, will definitely find it hard to use.
Our huge vision of improving healthcare involves getting doctors on board with the SeriousMD platform. That means we are also on a quest to change the negative perception surrounding EMR’s in order to achieve that goal.
There are already thousands of other Filipino doctors using the SeriousMD Doctors app daily, so what could be so hard? They could do it, so can you.
The proof is already out there. It’s already being used in actual practices.
SeriousMD is also not just for keeping records, as it’s a complete practice management app. It can mange your schedules, send out patient reminders, keep track of your billing revenue cycle, bring it anywhere with you on your phone or tablet, have offline access and more. It’s a must have for the 21st century doctor.
The ball is in your court now. The first step begins with you. Get started by clicking the button below to sign up.