I recently took my mother to an appointment with a specialist. I had missed one with her primary care physician the week before, but she assured me that she had gotten the details and would share them with me. Ever the skeptical nurse-daughter, I doubted that she would have many pertinent details that would help me feel like I had any idea of what transpired at the appointment. When I arrived at her home, however, she handed me a document summarizing her PCP visit. As I reviewed it, she said, “I am so impressed with how efficient and thorough my doctor is. She talks to me, maintains eye contact, and is typing away a mile a minute. She never skips a beat, and, at the end of the appointment, she prints out a summary of what we talked about, an updated list of my medications, and my follow up.”
Shamelessly using my mother for my qualitative research, I asked, “Why does this matter?”
Aghast, she replied, “Well, first of all, it shows me that they are up to date with a computerized office but at the same time they are personable during my appointment. Plus, I like walking out with a copy of what we covered and what I’m supposed to do next.” Then she added, “It makes me feel like they have their act together.”
Healthcare organizations across the country are struggling as they make conversions and/or upgrades to their EMR. There are countless reasons for making the changes, but I think my mother has covered the most important ones from the patient’s viewpoint.
So, to all the healthcare workers struggling through an EMR launch or conversion, Mom says “Thanks for the good work.”