The promise of EHRs is enormousâ€”greater efficiency and cost savings combined with improved patient care and quality of life for providers. The EHRs that deliver on that promise are at the top of their class, with the highest scores across the board from their customers.
Unfortunately, there are still too many delinquent EHRs out there, and too many stories of practices faced with unexpected expenses, decreased patient satisfaction, nerve-wracking workflow disruptions, and sharp drops in the quality of life. In many instances, the staff realized immediately after implementation that formerly straightforward tasks were now beyond their control, but it was too late to do anything about it.
For all their promise, not all EHRs function or deliver in the ways you expect them to.
Here are some of the complaints doctors express about their delinquent EHRs:
- “Why do I have to do it that way? Why canâ€™t the system do it my way, but just help me be more efficient?”
Each doctor has his or her own personal styleâ€”one that matches that doctorâ€™s unique pace and the practiceâ€™s workflow. However, many EHR systems force physicians and practices to change the way they operate. Although a new workflow may improve your practice, many changes are actually detrimental to your efficiency. An EHR should conform to your workflow and offer you the flexibility to change it based on your practice needs, maximizing productivity.
- “Iâ€™d rather input data on my childâ€™s laptop than this.”
Physicians expect their EHRs to be easy, intuitive, and user-friendly from the start, but thatâ€™s not always the case. Many doctors find their EHRs are just too slow, require too many clicks to document visits, and are just too complicated.
- “Iâ€™m wasting my time looking at my computer monitor instead of seeing my patients.”
Not all EHRs have a user-friendly screen layout. Some have extensive lists, dropdowns, and mandatory fields that need to be completed in order to move on to the next screen. All this extra time spent filling out data fields could be better spent focusing on the patient.
- “Even when Iâ€™m not working in the office, I have to work from home. When does it ever end?!”
A delinquent EHR monopolizes too much of doctorsâ€™ precious time. They find themselves entering patient data after hours. Sometimes, even when they leave the office on time, they end up doing more work from home.
Not all EHRs are created equal. When delinquent EHRs create havoc in your practice, you have to ask yourself if it’s time to break up with your EHR vendor.