Not twenty years ago, industries shuddered at the threat of January 1, 2000 because of a fear that computers would not be able to process the change from ’99 to ’00. Today, patients get text reminders on their mobile smartphones that they have an upcoming appointment with a provider or use telehealth apps to talk to their care teams face-to-face without ever leaving their homes. Technology has dramatically shaped the way we live, including the delivery and provision of healthcare.
Technological innovations have brought significant gains to healthcare – and few patients or providers would roll the scroll back to 1999. However, there is room for improvement in how technology integrates into providers’ workflows, and some key considerations for organizations looking to adopt further new technology.
The Rise of the EMR
The increasing level of burnout for providers is cause for concern, and the majority attribute the rise to the implementation of mandatory EMR systems. However, EMRs are powerful tools that:
- Improve patient safety through clinical decision support
- Provide easier access to clinical data
- Allow providers to easily interact with other hospitals, clinics, labs, and pharmacies
- Promote complete documentation and accurate coding
Providers’ complaints around EMR use often center around difficulty of use and their ability to detract from the patient/provider interaction. There are ways to mitigate these drawbacks though, including using a virtual assistant or a scribe to transpose the provider’s comments from an appointment or building time into the workday for providers to enter data into the EMR.
Ultimately, in considering what technology could be beneficial for your organization, ease of use and adoption are key components to consider. The goal of technology is to improve efficiencies and outcomes for all, and weighing the impact on providers and care teams should be a part of the initial discussion.