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.