Baleigh is a first year dental student and first year board member at the SOC. She is a Co-chair for Patient Education.
“The handwritten SOAP notes,” she said “are painfully time consuming – no one wanted to do the practice sheet, then the official sheet, and then on top of that, have it checked by three board members. Handwritten notes are simply out-of-date and cumbersome (not to mention very difficult to read sometimes).” Baleigh pointed out one of the most common complaints about paper charts: time. Handwritten notes at the SOC are especially time consuming as they must write a practice note that is checked before the official note is written.
Sireen, a second year dental student and first year board member as Webmaster, echoed a similar sentiment. “The current paper charting at the SOC is slow and causes frustrations for both patients, who need to wait extended periods of time, and providers who dislike writing out the note twice.” In addition to the students wasting time on writing multiple copies of the note, Sireen noticed that patients are suffering as well. “Volunteers can get caught up on getting their note down and checked by board members, possibly making the patient feel less valued and the entire operation seem less professional.” Students were spending most of their time writing a SOAP note, rather than treating their patients.
As SOC board members geared up to make the transition to an EDR, word spread like wildfire at IUSD. Students like Marion were excited. “The SOC provides an important health resource to the local community. Our patients deserve the best care we can provided and there are always ways we can improve. One way is to streamline our record keeping with electronic dental records.”
Students were excited to get their hand on this new piece of technology. As with anything new, there will be a time of adjustment and learning. In the next article, students will provide their reactions after using Dovetail for the first time.