Zen and the Art of EMR

Posted on the 16 August 2012 by Ironcomet @Ironcomet

I’m not advocating that to achieve success in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) you meditate and obtain spiritual enlightenment. I will however tell you what I have discovered gives many doctors a leg up in the digital world in which we live. Actually, Zen and Tao both combine several arts if you didn’t know.  The main tenants being Medicine, Divination, Martial Arts, and Spirituality.

Most EMRs today have many of the same benefits and because the technology is still new they have limitations as well.  These issues should of course be examined before purchasing.  But the features should surely contain the following:

Technology and Tools


Audit Trail

Patient Demographic Data





Generating Letters and Documents

Billing and Collection Support


But to reach the Zen part of any project you have to become one with the system in regards to acceptance and patience.  You do not have to have an advanced degree in computer science to work with an EMR and your training should provide the proper elements to be successful.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a guide on best practices for avoiding EMR problems.  They stress the importance of having proper systems in place to avoid duplication and lawsuits that could potentially bring down a practice.  They site problems with physicians copying a section of yesterday’s clinical notes into today’s notes which raises red flags.

There is no Zen with an EMR if your infrastructure is not in place. You now own software which requires computers to be top notch.  We recommend exceeding the requirements to insure your system runs quickly and smoothly.  Don’t overlook the need for a hardware assessment before you implement an EMR.  Make sure you are covered for potential issues like floods and power spikes by backing up your data properly.

Doctors have commented that they are able to complete a progress note in 5 minutes or less with paper charts.  Some take much more time depending on the specialty and problem list.  It will take a few months to get comfortable with your digital system.  By staying positive you and your staff will be able to do their work efficiently and accurately.



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