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August 22, 2012

Essay Paper on Electronic Medical Records


Introduction

Many physicians have difficulty in figuring out where to start once they have decided to choose an EMR for their office. With over 200 products to choose from, it is easy to become overwhelmed and fears over the risk of choosing the wrong product can become immobilizing. How do you pick a product that will best suit your needs when you are not sure what your needs are? How do you pick a company that will continue to improve its product’s functionality and stay current with the latest standards in health information technology? You realize that this is a huge long-term commitment and that if you make a poor decision you could put the lifeblood of your practice, your medical records, in jeopardy.
As of the time of this book’s publication, EMR products have proprietary programming and databases and are not significantly interoperable. Once you commit to a product, it will be very difficult and expensive to change to another one down the road. With over 200 companies making EMRs, will the company you pick survive? No one wants to buy a “mission critical” product from a company that might not be in business in 5 years. If you search the internet only using the term EMR or Electronic Medical Record you may miss a number of useful sites. Many authors and sites use the term EHR or Electronic Health Record instead. Some authors and organizations make semantic distinctions between the two terms, but many do not. Interestingly both the government (HITECH legislation) and CCHIT use the term EHR in place of EMR. Searching using both terms or their acronyms in order not to miss any useful sites is therefore recommended.
Comparison of Three Brands of Electronic Medical Records:

Product name and website:                             Praxis EMR
                                                                        www.infor-med.com
Vendor name:                                                             Infor-Med Medical Information Systems

The data pertaining to birth history, linkages between family members and the awareness/comparison to age-base values are satisfactory.
Installation, training, support issues, the general overview, the adolescent privacy features, prescription generation and transmission, standard and flexible format reporting,
online patient/parent access and interactions, growth parameters, percentiles and curves, documentation/assessment of developmental milestones, the ease/methods of data entry, practice management integration as well as costs, subjective value and ROI have been rated as fair.
The lookup features, identifying data, tracking disclosures, parental appendices, immunization data handling and analysis, are poorly rated.
In a survey conducted in 2008 and published in the Family Practice Management, a practice management journal sponsored by the AAFP, the functionality of Praxis EMR was ranked second among thirteen EHR systems. When the respondents were asked about Praxis EMR’s flexibility, that is, if it allows individual user-specific customization, minimizes data input, offers multiple note creation options and is fast (minimal wait between screens, minimal boot-up time, etc.), 86 percent agreed while 14 percent disagreed. When asked if the vendor provided excellent support during the implementation period, excellent ongoing support and service, at least one significant system upgrade per year and if the vendor assisted with ongoing training, 88 percent agreed while 12 percent disagreed. Praxis EMR was rated the highest for the overall satisfaction with support and training among the thirteen EHR systems in the survey. Concerning the system cost, 92% of the respondents agreed with the statement that “This EHR has saved or will save my practice money over its first five years of use.”
The more systems an EHR directly interfaces with, the greater its usefulness. An EHR interfaced with a lab system, for instance, can obtain patient lab results automatically and easily flowchart the results. Similar benefits accrue from other interfaces. The most commonly reported interfaces were with lab systems and practice management systems. By this measure, Praxis ranked below average among the thirteen EHR systems that were reviewed.
83 percent of the respondents were inclined to pick the Praxis system again, 100 percent declined to go back to paper records and 92 percent disagreed that the EHR system costs more than it is worth.
Product name and website:                 Amazing Charts www.amazingcharts.com/product/overview.htm
Vendor name:                                                 AmazingCharts.com, Inc.
Installation, training, support issues, the general overview, prescription generation and transmission, lookup features, identifying data, growth parameters, percentiles and curves as well as the costs, subjective value and ROI are rated as excellent to very good.
Immunization data handling and analysis, documentation/assessment of developmental milestones, practice management integration, the ease/methods of data entry, awareness/comparison to age-base values and data pertaining to birth history are satisfactory.
Amazing Charts has a fair rating for standard and flexible format reporting, but fares poorly in adolescent privacy features, online patient/parent access and interactions and creating linkages between family members.
According to the 2008 survey published in Family Practice Management, the overall functionality of Amazing Charts was listed at number eight among thirteen different EMR systems. When the respondents were asked about the EMR system’s ease of use, that is, if the Amazing Charts EMR allows individual user-specific customization, minimizes data input, offers multiple note creation options and is fast (minimal wait between screens, minimal boot-up time, etc.), 84 percent agreed, 10 percent disagreed while 8 percent had no opinion. When asked about the overall satisfaction with support and training for the EHR system, that is, if the vendor provided excellent support during the implementation period, excellent ongoing support and service, at least one significant system upgrade per year and if the vendor assisted with ongoing training, 86 percent agreed, 12 percent had no opinion while only 2 percent disagreed. Regarding the system cost, 89% of the respondents agreed with the statement that “This EHR has saved or will save my practice money over its first five years of use.” Amazing Charts was rated the second highest for the overall satisfaction with support and training among the thirteen EMR systems in the survey.
Amazing Charts’ interoperability ranked below average among the EMR systems reviewed. 89 percent of the respondents were inclined to pick the Amazing Charts system again, 85 percent declined to go back to paper records and 81 percent disagreed that the EHR system costs more than it is worth.

Product name and website:                             e-MDs Chart

Vendor name:                                                e-MDs
Installation, training, support issues, the general overview, adolescent privacy features, prescription generation and transmission, lookup features, immunization data handling and analysis, linkages between family members, growth parameters, percentiles and curves, tracking disclosures and parental appendices, standard and flexible format reporting, the ease/methods of data entry, practice management integration, awareness/comparison to age-base values as well as the costs, subjective value and ROI are all rated as excellent to very good.
e-MDs Chart has a fair rating for online patient/parent access and interactions, documentation/assessment of developmental milestones and data pertaining to birth history.
According to the 2008 survey published in Family Practice Management, the overall satisfaction with the functionality of e-MDs Chart topped the thirteen different EMR systems that were reviewed. When the twenty-nine respondents were asked about e-MDs Chart’s ease of use, that is, if it allows individual user-specific customization, minimizes data input, offers multiple note creation options and is fast (minimal wait between screens, minimal boot-up time, etc.), 86 percent agreed, 8 percent disagreed while 6 percent had no opinion. When asked about the overall satisfaction with support and training for the EHR system, that is, if the vendor provided excellent support during the implementation period, excellent ongoing support and service, at least one significant system upgrade per year and if the vendor assisted with ongoing training, 81 percent agreed, 12 percent had no opinion while 8 percent disagreed. e-MDs Chart was rated at the third highest for the overall satisfaction with support and training among the thirteen EMR systems in the survey. Regarding the system cost, 66% of the respondents agreed with the statement that “This EHR has saved or will save my practice money over its first five years of use.”
82 percent of the respondents were inclined to pick e-MDs Chart again, 86 percent declined to go back to paper records and 61 percent disagreed that the EMR system costs more than it is worth.
Conclusion:

If one is willing to invest reasonable effort in the process, the job of choosing an EMR need not be overwhelming, and one can confidently reduce the risk of making a regrettable decision. With the right attitude, the process might even be fun.

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1 comments:

  1. With a lot of challenges facing the medical industry just like growing operational costs, staffing problems, security and patient data concerns, for example, employing Web based EMR is one method to boost income and efficiency.

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