The goal of Electronic Health Records (EHR) is to help physicians build a sustainable medical practice and improve the safety and quality of the health care services they provide. The justification for EHR was that this digital record of patient health information could be shared among all providers across all healthcare facilities so that appropriate decisions could be taken for appropriate treatment, while maintaining patient confidentiality in accordance with government regulations.
However, according to an InformationWeek report, there are many reasons why doctors hate EHR and see it as “draining rather than enhancing their productivity”! Most physicians are saying that the software is not user-friendly and is taking up their valuable time which could have been used more productively. In fact, when you look at the reasons why doctors hate EHR it’s quite obvious that medical transcription service is a far better option.
According to InformationWeek, the main reasons why physicians do not like EHR are as follows:
- Not user-friendly: Most EHR software is not user friendly. Data entry is challenging and doctors are finding it difficult to use the point-and-click templates.
- Time-consuming data entry: One EHR takes up to 44% of a doctor’s valuable time, especially in the case of emergency department (ED) physicians. A recent study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that these physicians find it difficult to use electronic health records (EHRs) without sacrificing productivity. A physician who saw about 2.5 patients per hour had to make up to 4000 mouse clicks during a 10-hour shit to perform common charting functions and certain patient encounters. This also tires out the physician.
- Error-prone: The chances of the physician making errors when entering information in EHR is very high. The search interface is meant to be user-friendly and when a physician enters the initial letters of the name of a drug, the system could suggest a match on the drop down list which could be the wrong one. This has resulted in new potential errors, which could prove extremely dangerous for patient care as well as for the physician. It would also result in medical coding and billing issues and affect reimbursement.
- Compromised design and data sharing abilities: EHR and other hospital software are supposed to be HL-7 compliant and share data, this is not happening. Compromised design is not serving any purpose. Even with EHR, hospitals are finding it difficult to produce and share the documents necessary to help healthcare providers ensure “continuity of care”.
- Change in work habits: Doctors have to change their work habits to match the workflow pattern made necessary by the software.
- Potential for disorderly records: The EHR can result in a disorderly record that is difficult to read record. So if one physician enters the information and hands off a patient to another physician, the latter may find it difficult to understand the essential information in the record which may also become voluminous and difficult to manage.
Role of Medical Transcription in Healthcare
In contrast to EHR, quality medical transcription services have always played an important role in helping physicians get clear, accurate and concise documentation. This has allowed them to deliver proper patient care as well as accurate medical coding, billing and insurance claims submission processes for improved productivity and revenue.
Advantages of Medical Transcription over EHR
The transcription service delivered by a professional HIPAA compliant medical transcription company offers the following advantages over EHR:
- No need to type medical records: The company’s team of professional transcriptionists can deliver accurately typed medical records and notes in specified turnaround time (TAT) from the physician dictation. So physicians are saved the time and trouble needed for entering such information on their own. This gives them more time for patient care.
- Improved productivity: When physician need to invest more time on documentation, it will gradually decrease the number of patients he can see a day, affecting practice productivity. By partnering with a medical transcription company, physicians have time to see more patients.
- Accurate documentation in custom TAT: All the physician has to do to get accurate documentation in custom TAT dictation is to dictate using a convenient method – toll-free phone or digital recorder.
- Improved patient care: EMR’s documentation options are not good enough to capture all of the patient encounters and limit the functionality with drop down lists. However, with medical transcription, physicians can get neatly typed notes of anything. A contextual, comprehensive and meaningful note outsmarts point-and-click documentation.
- Improved accuracy: Free-text typing into the system may produce errors. The patient visits and status could not always be expressed via copied-and-pasted or template text. A transcriptionist can identify the errors if any during dictation and deliver accuracy levels of up to 99%.
A clinical documentation in the physician’s own words would always be expressive and contextual and meaningful as a first-person account of the patient’s condition. Medical transcription services can help a physician avoid errors in documentation and incomplete records which can happen with the EHR cookie-cutter templates. Choosing the right medical transcription company is the key to better patient care, compliance and improved productivity.