The process of moving from paper to electronic health records has not been quick, easy or without casualties. However embracing digital technology was no doubt the only way for health care to keep up with the times and move forward, much like any other industry today. The transformation has been too slow for some while others can’t quite believe the changes that have happened in just a few short years.
Even as little as ten years ago, seeing your doctor sitting at a computer would have come as a shock to most people. Now no one is surprised to see computers in the clinic. In fact we expect it! That’s quite a big change in a relatively short time period. The switch to EHRs changes the patient experience too.
Some dentists found themselves spending more time with their patients during a visit but others ended up typing away while the patient was still in the room. Before selecting an EHR, one of the aspects you should consider is if it will positively impact the clinical experience. Will the new software allow you to interact with your patients in the room, rather than focus on typing up notes? A good EHR will let you achieve those goals and you should be able to see the difference for yourself.
So, are you spending enough time with your patients, now that EHRs have become a way of life for dentists? There are a few EHR features that can help you if you feel your practice is heading in the wrong direction.
Turn on Autocomplete
Quite a few dentists are afraid of using this feature for a few valid reasons. We’ve heard the horror stories about inappropriate words or correcting what the software thought was a typo when it actually wasn’t. Imagine those sort of mistakes happening in a software that tracks medical data.
But EHRs have improved quite a bit from those early versions. Dovetail for instance, is tailored specifically for dental clinics. So the software knows the relevant medical vocabulary and also adjusts itself to individual typing style over time. Pretty soon, you’ll be finishing notes quicker and with less typing to boot. This will free you up to simply talk to patients and maintain eye contact. You won’t be the doctor that only types all the time!
Switch to Cloud Services
The EHR market is still split between traditional software and the more modern cloud based services. But it is fast becoming clear which one is better suited for dental practices. A cloud based service lets you access your data from any device. This is a pretty crucial feature that you can use to enhance the patient experience.
Imagine being able to type up notes on a portable tablet or even your phone. You can enter data on a phone/tablet at first and later finish them on a desktop. This way you won’t forget important details since you enter them immediately but also don’t spend all your time hidden behind a screen!
Forget about Backups
On premise software has a distinct handicap when it comes to data. You’re forced to backup your data at regular intervals without fail. Many users are concerned about losing data if their machine turns off, they lose power or something else happens. Dovetail backup your data in the cloud (i.e away from your office) in real time. You don’t have to worry about making mistakes or constantly hitting the save button. Whether you enter data on a desktop or dictate to your tablet, everything is saved without manual help.
As you can see, there are several EHR features that can give you more time with patients. If yours doesn’t have these time saving tools, maybe it’s time for a change!