5 Steps to Get the Most from Your Mobile EHR

Lea Chatham October 18th, 2013

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Mobile technology is the way of the future. A survey from Beckers Orthopedic and Spine found that 91 percent of physicians are interested in mobile EHRs. So why is adoption of mobile EHRs lagging? At least in part it is because it takes time to get used to new technology and get the most from it. Sometimes it may seem easier to stick with what you already have. But consider this … mobile teachnology frees you to focus on the patient without getting swivel chair fatigue. It may even help you engage the patient more in his or her own care by allowing you to show the patient what you are doing, share images, graphs of trends, and more. If you are thinking about making the move to mobile, Dr. Tom Giannulli, Chief Medical Information Officer at Kareo, has some hints to help:

  1. Don’t skip the how-to’s. When you get new device, sit down for an afternoon and go through any and all tutorials on how to use your hardware and software. It may seem tedious but you want to be an expert user even if you have to spend a day slogging through the manual.
  2. Use your device every day. Don’t just use your device to document patient visits. From the beginning, use it for everything. Get really comfortable with how it works and how it feels to navigate various applications.
  3. Figure out what shortcuts and bailouts you can use if you are having a problem. I recommend having a docking station handy with an external keypad. Practicing voice recording via a Bluetooth device is another great option. Again, being comfortable with device will allow you to figure out how to solve a problem as you go.
  4. Tweak your templates. Most EHRs come with pre-loaded templates, the ability to customize templates, and the option to add more templates as needed. You should absolutely tweak your templates to fit the most familiar sequencing possible.
  5. Practice before game time. Don’t wait to see that first patient to try documenting on your device. Document a handful of old notes and customize the template as needed to adapt to your documentation process.

The more comfortable you are with the device the smoother your documentation in the exam room will be. You may be surprised to find that it improves patient engagement as well as simplifying documentation.

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