A healthy practice relies on establishing meaningful relationships with your patients. You want them to feel special and valued. So it can be a little disconcerting when you’ve pulled the file for a pregnant patient you anticipate is getting checked for melasma only to meet a 16-year-old new patient, who arrived to discuss his acne.
Sometimes file mix-ups have more serious consequences than mistaken identities. Studies show that from the initial biopsy to the acquisition of the pathology report, a specimen may pass through the hands of more than twenty people and several workplaces.
To prevent specimen mix-ups and other errors with patient information, NIH recommends, first, standardization in work processes, and second, automating tasks wherever possible. To do this, consider digitizing your clinic and laboratory processes.
Here are three ways transitioning to electronic medical records (EMR) have helped numerous dermatology practices minimize errors and create a streamlined and error-free clinic workflow.
Patient Data Is Easy to Share
EMR technology was designed to house patient information in a location that is easy to organize and share with other healthcare providers, insurance, pharmacies, labs, other clinics, billing, etc.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says, “Documenting a patient’s record with all relevant and important facts, and having that information readily available, allows providers to furnish correct and appropriate services that can improve quality, safety, and efficiency.”
At PathologyWatch, our clients appreciate easy access to digital images as well as pathology reports, patient’s HIPAA-compliant, digital medical history, etc., which are accessible on the patient’s EMR.
EMR Provides a Complete Patient Record
Did you know around one out of every 20 people who saw a doctor last year reported having to redo a test or procedure because their prior data was unavailable?
Maintaining a patient’s identity and complete medical history throughout the biopsy pathway is critical for the practice of dermatology and dermatopathology. Your patients need to trust that you can provide the best care based on a comprehensive understanding of their patient history. So while a recent study discovered 32 percent of people who visited a doctor within the past 12 months experienced a gap in information exchange, your patients shouldn’t have to worry about the quality of their care if you’ve transitioned their patient information to EMR. You can confidently address your patient’s case and concerns based on a complete and current patient record.
Add Value To Other Parts of Workflow
Surveys show that 60 percent of clinics already have implemented EMRs in their practice, but most have not yet experienced the full capabilities that an interface provides. “The exchange of information through this interface can simplify your daily workflow considerably,” explains April Larson, a practicing dermatologist and director of clinical implementation and advisory board at PathologyWatch. “By way of an HL7 interface, the lab can send reports electronically directly to your patient chart and, in certain instances, populate the diagnosis and treatment, streamlining your review and signoff.”
The adoption of EMR technology minimizes menial, time-consuming tasks for your clinical staff and allows them to participate more in patient care, which increases both staff and patient satisfaction.
Your patients depend on you to provide the best care possible. When you use an EMR system to organize patient information that’s easy to access, update, and share with health services partners, you can focus on what really matters: your patient.
Learn more about the pros and cons of an EMR interface here.