Here we are in 2016, and the majority of practices are finally converted to an EMR. Are you getting used to your EMR? Answer this question honestly. How would you feel if it was taken away from you, and you were given the paper chart back? Don’t be so quick to answer with the paper chart. Consider everything. Midnight access without driving in, cost savings, access from anywhere in the world, etc. Some of the doctors I have spoken to don’t really love the EMR, but would not want to function without it.

The trend in EMR conversions from paper charts was in full force around 2009, 2010. In my opinion, we should be at the point where doctors and staff are used to the EMR, and have figured out what would make it better. What I have seen happen, is the more familiar with it you get, the more you realize and recognize the pitfalls. It’s so easy to say “can’t you make it so this just pops up”? and when that doesn’t happen…the EMR is terrible! Give it time…it will do everything you want.

Are we at the point yet where you want to switch EMR’s? What would that process look like? Would you have to start from scratch? What would the conversion process look like? Keep in mind a good salesman will make this process sound very easy. Well, it’s not. We are not at a place where EMR vendors are looking to make it easy for you to leave them. Extracting data is not at the forefront of their minds. Getting functionality that you want should be the number one priority.

Getting used to your EMR involves fully using the system. Are you fully using it, or only parts of it? I remember years ago that practices would boast how they were on EMR. What they didn’t tell you was that they were using the EMR as a glorified typewriter, and that they were still using paper charts, doing double the work. Answer honestly…are you still running parallel with paper charts? If you are, please call me right away so I can help save you time, money, frustration, and possibly a liability issue! There is no need to do double the work.

When I ask the question “are you getting used to your EMR?”, I am asking if you are using it properly. Using it properly will help you get used to it, and you will be able to fully function and still provide quality healthcare.