Vendors provide advice on EMR usability
Maximize EMR value, usability
Christopher Alban, MD, MBA, offers a series of questions emergency clinicians should consider if they want to optimize their EMR user experience:
- Are you taking advantage of new features and functionality? Make sure you are using the most recent version of your EMR, and that most of the features are turned on.
- Does your EMR automatically query outside systems so that you have the most up-to-date information? This can expedite treatment and improve patient safety.
- Are you using the EMR in a way that reduces tasks that overwhelm physicians? Many documentation tasks can be completed during registration or by triage nurses.
- Does your EMR prioritize patients by acuity, anticipate likely steps, and arrange what the caregiver needs?
- Are your screens simplified? The system should be configured in a way that highlights important information and removes clutter.
- Does your EMR make information capture easy? Are forms easily accessible and up-to-date, or can they be revised to improve patient flow?
- Are physicians actively involved in the configuration and optimization of the system? Physicians who use the system regularly should have a strong voice.
- Is the system fast? If not, it could be the hardware or the EMR, but advanced EMRs are designed to run smoothly even with thousands of concurrent users.
- Does your EMR contain productivity dashboards to evaluate individual and department performance? These can be used to identify bottlenecks and users that may need additional training.
- Is there a mobile option? This enables clinicians to complete tasks while on-the-go.
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