For the last three days, my nurse has been training a float nurse. It is extremely important to have a very competent and technologically fluent nurse available to fill in at a moments notice to minimize any disruption of care. The advantage of one nurse managing the EHR, schedule, telephone, e-faxing, secure messaging, and scanner is also an extreme disadvantage if her position becomes vacant, due to illness or vacation.
However, the float nurse in training gave me two pages of extremely insightful information comparing our system with her previous EHR system, one of the behemoths designed for a hospital setting.
This information I am sharing is intended to enlighten the difference between a small office and large multiple physician system. The system I use is intended for a small office and not for a large group of physicians. So this is comparing apples and oranges, but none the less her observations are very interesting.
“Searching for patient information, such as next appointment or demographics is done in one step instead of having to go into different screens. Referrals can be completed in a few minutes rather than taking more steps, printing, copying, and then manually faxing. The ability to have signed patient notes/tests immediately scanned into patient record and communicate to patient in timely manner is preferable with our system. Adding INR’s to our record is very user friendly, and nearly impossible with the other. Obtaining and sending labs/radiology reports very efficient, all electronic, the other system requires paper orders and manually faxing. The ability to categorize reports by the nurse is much better than having hospital staff in medical records do this, as retrieving reports much easier to find in our system. Our system is very nurse friendly, the flow is intuitive and could easily shave off two hours from a typical day compared to the other.”
I realize this is a very crude way to compare, but this nurse is a seasoned, well trained nurse. Her observations however resonate with the general dissatisfaction I have read regarding the bulkier EHR’s used in larger group settings.