EHR stands for Electronic Health Records. It is a new evolving system that digitally in-puts patients information such as medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, personal stats like age and weight, and billing information as well as prescriptions in order to better health care practices. It makes it easier for doctors to share information within their own offices, as well as across health care systems.
Before EHR systems we all remember the paper charts and large files with all of our past visits. When changing doctors you would have to ask for all of that information to be transferred so your new doctor would know your medical past. Today, that is changing very rapidly. More and more doctors are adopting the EHR practice and they are getting a positive result from their patients.
Most of the time people will use EMR and EHR interchangeably but there is a difference. EMR is the legal patient record created in hospitals that gets combined into the EHR. There are many benefits to EHR such a cost reduction, improved quality in health care, and an increase in record keeping and mobility. The main disadvantages is the time it takes to switch the EHR. Doctors needs training, records need to be put in, and this creates a few extra costs. Overall it seems that most doctors are thinking the benefits will out way the costs in the end. Also, as a doctor it is very important to stay update on technology, so everyone may be having to make the switch soon.
I went for my yearly eye check-up today and I was so impressed. I did not know a lot about eye technology before I started to work with Kowa, but since then I have learned so much. I was excited for this doctor visit because I wanted to see which technology they were using and I wanted to ask about the EMR technology.
I had a nurse check out my eyes in the beginning just the usual hold the tool over your eye read the screen and so on. Then we did a peripheral vision test (mine is perfect). THEN she asked if she could take a picture of the back of my eyes. This was a first for me, I knew about the technology because I have been researching eye technology, but this was a new machine at this office. She told me there would be additional co-pay for these pictures, but I figured I would try the machine out. I held my face up and she made it look at this disk and then a large flash and I could see the picture on the screen next to me.
I was waiting to see how this would later be used, would the pictures be printed? Digitally shown to me? Can they be transferred around the office? I was soon to find out. The doctor came in to finish my eye check-up and give me my new prescription. He then did a glaucoma test, which was easy and not disturbing to the eyes. THEN he asked how I’d like my retinas tested – camera, or the old way? Normally they do this horrible exam where they dilate my pupils and I can’t see for a few hours. I realized that this would not be okay, since I had to work right after. So I said yes, please take a picture! After he turned on his computer and showed me pictures of both the back of my eyes and retina’s so I could understand what they were showing.
I was so impressed by all this new technology. The visit took 30 minutes and another 20 for me to choose my classes. This visit used to take 45 minutes to an hour and another 20 minutes for me to choose glasses. It has cut the visit time down making it easier and faster for the patient and doctor. My doctor’s office does not yet have any of the workflow technology but it’s planning on investing in some. The new eye technology is very helpful and has improved doctor visits vastly.
Change is not always the easiest thing to do deal with. It disrupts our comfort zone and forces us to be uncomfortable and unfamiliar – luckily this is not a bad thing. Many of our best doctors grew up in an age where files were not on the computer, and digital photos didn’t exist yet. Over the years the medical technology has become more and more advanced making care faster and easier.
Some doctors have been more willing than others to accept this new change into the digital age, while others have been more stubborn about sticking to their old ways. The problem is that those who don’t adapt have a higher chance of being left behind; in the medical field having the most innovative technology is great!
As a world we must understand that going from paper into this technology age is not just a new phase, it’s a new movement into the new world. Doctors are no longer just diagnosing but they have to analyze data and become a sophisticated software user.
We have to slow down and understand that this transition will not be over night. We must help our doctors with this transition by being patient as they learn. EMR’s are revolutionizing Optometry; lets see where it will take us.
As the rest of the world becomes totally digitized, so does the optometry world. One of the first steps to bringing optometry into the technological world is the installation of the electronic medical records (EMR). Almost every practice has hundreds of images of patients that pass through many hands and go into many files. The digital image management system with a single database is a way of simplifying this process while easily granting practitioners access to patient’s files. The process of tracking the testing of a patient’s eyes from an initial visit through to the point of prescription is known as image workflow management.
Automating the image workflow management has many benefits. There is a challenge to effectively and efficiently organize, store, and retrieve image files; this would be eliminated with the automated system. A digital image management system also eliminates having to annually review and document images, as well as having to access many databases through an EMR system.
An effective image management system has to flow in a similar fashion as clinical environment. It also must be compatible with the offices current electronic health record (EHR) system. When evaluating the best system for your company there are few standards that one should look for. Do you have on-click imaging opening, are the images automatically flagged and noted, and is it possible to merge the EHR system with the image management system?
Kowa DigiVersal offers a Digital Image Management System. The DigiVersal system offers practitioners the chance to display and review images on a single screen. It also offers Draw-It for the best integrations of your drawings. Its time to get rid of those bulky paper charts and switch to a digital system.