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The Power of EMR E-forms

Who out there knows the history of why newspapers like the New York Times, broadsheets, are large as opposed to the tabloid sized New York Post? The answer dates to the early history of newspapers in England when the Crown imposed a tax on each page of a newspaper. The response of the publishers? Print larger pages, hence fewer of them, lowering the cost of each paper. More recently, the tabloid-sized paper was easier for commuters to read in trains and buses.

What does this have to do with EMR? Everything.

Conspicuous EMR

In 1899, the economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen published the satiric The Theory of the Leisure Class in which he coined the phrase “conspicuous consumption” which was similar to “conspicuous leisure” leading often to “conspicuous waste.” We can all think of examples of this. No need to go into detail.

Conspicuous consumption is the engine of the market economy. It is fueled by advertising. So we have the bizarre spectacle of ghetto kids literally killing one another over fancy running shoes or corporate executives who just have to have a $2,500 Rolex watch, never mind that you can buy a copy for ten bucks on a street corner of some countries. The knock-offs look like the real deal. Who’s to know?

Elegant EMR for Elegant Practice

We at MDoffice like to think of our EMR as elegant. EMR? Elegant? How, you ask, can computer software possibly be described as “elegant?”

The dictionary will tell you that something elegant is that which is refined and tasteful. It is also something that is functional. It works. American-made automobiles, alas, have long had a reputation for being inelegant. They fell apart after a few years. It was difficult for Detroit car makers to overcome that stereotype. A Mercedes Benz on the other hand… Well, you get the picture. You can depend on a Mercedes. Likewise a Toyota has long been considered more elegant than a Chevrolet. Toyotas look stylish and they work. As cars go, Toyotas are affordable.

Take, for example, the Irish walking hat. If you live in Ireland where it mists and rains nearly every day or in the Pacific Northwest of the United States which has similar weather, it is the hat you want to own. It’s made wool so it lasts forever. It soaks up the mist or rain without getting your head wet. You come inside after a long walk and you simply put it on a table to dry. It has a narrow brim so it won’t sail off with a gust of wind. Sun is rare so there is no need to protect your eyes. And you can alter it to fit your personality. All you do is steam it, shape it however you like, and freeze it. When it thaws, it retains that shape.

So elegance doesn’t depend on how expensive something is.

We at MDoffice admire the stylish, functional Irish walking hat. It is a classic and for good reason. We give you EMR that does the job at a price you can afford, which serves your needs, and which you can easily change to fit your taste and personality—and your medical specialty.

The Challenge of Medical Evolution

Sometimes it does us all good to put change in context. The digital revolution, or computer revolution, that we’re now undergoing is one of those times.

Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in 1439. Before that time, for a period of some eight hundred years, the clergy had a monopoly on knowledge. Scribes and monks laboriously reproduced manuscripts by hand. It is not for nothing that we also call the medieval period the “dark ages.”

Save a Second and Earn More

It was some years ago that Sen. Edward M. Dirksen of Illinois said famously of saving money in the federal budget, “A million here, a million there, it all adds up.” So it does. The same thing might be said of time in a doctor’s office, “A minute here, a minute there, it all adds up.”

So how much time will you save with EMR as opposed to working with paper.

That’s difficult to calculate.

How much time will you save finding and retrieving notes? Click a stop watch then go through the drill of finding a folder, pawing through the paper, and finding the notes. That’s as opposed to typing a name into a space and tapping the enter key. So make that seconds for each search, less than a minute, although as someone touting EMR, I’m being generous. As the day wears on, these seconds add up.

And then there’s the time doing refills. If you’re working with paper, you have to find the prescription in the folder then fill out a piece of paper to renew it. With EMR, the prescription is on the screen, you tap a renewal key and beam it off to the pharmacy. Easy to see the time saved. Again we’ll be generous. Seconds saved. Minutes add up as the day wears on.

The time saved making appointments is likely seconds in each case, but really much more. If an appointment is entered on paper then changed, somebody has to erase or cross out the original appointment and write in the new one. That’s a time-consuming hassle. No way of getting around that. With EMR you simply delete the old appointment and type in another one. MDoffice will make the change throughout the system so that everybody who needs to know about the change is informed.

Efficiencies of the system become quickly apparent in looking up results, doing calculations of one sort or another, checking on drug interaction, or reprinting letters. In each case, seconds pile upon seconds, as the efficiencies of time piles up during the day. Seconds saved in numerous routine functions add up to minutes then, cumulatively, to hours. Here is where the astonishing efficiency of EMR becomes quickly apparent. At the end of the day, a given number of physicians and staff can see more patients and tend to their needs in a hassle-free manner.

The computer is the heart of the amazing increase in productivity seen in industry after industry. And now, owing to common sense as well as a commitment of the federal government, EMR is upon us for good. It’s easy to understand the efficiencies; it's perhaps more difficult to know which among the many EMR vendors offers the software that does the job simply and quickly at the best price, and which a physician can tailor to fit his or her preferences and specialty.