re: HIMSS: Should Healthcare Be More Like Airline Industry?
Chris, the big factor I see from personal experience is the lack of "technology literacy" and irrelevant processes on the part of staff at the doctor's office. Here's my own experience (it's story style):
I called the doctor's office, and an automated receptionist quickly and pleasantly guided me to the G«£make an appointmentG«• option. The call was picked up within a few seconds and a person took me through the process of determining what type of appointment I needed, times open for me to choose, etc. She also asked me for a fairly detailed set of personal information, from age, address, medical history, to health insurance and employer information. That must have taken some 5 minutes to answer questions or provide information. But it was thorough and not hard for me to participate in the call. Good, I thought, they have captured a lot of information up front, so they must be using EMR.
When I turned up for my appointment, the receptionist asked my name and then handed me a clipboard with 4-5 sheets of paper on it, all fields were blank. She also asked for, and copied, my driverG«÷s license and health insurance card. As she returned my cards, she asked me to complete the forms.
I scanned the forms and noted that many fields asked for information that I had already provided over the phone earlier. I pointed this out to the receptionist and asked if the information was already in G«£the system.G«• My question must have been unexpected, because she replied somewhat abruptly, G«£we still need you to fill out the paperwork.G«• So, realizing that she must have been unaware that someone had already captured this data from me by phone, I sat down and spent some fifteen minutes duplicating on paper the effort of my call (and also signed a few necessary forms on privacy and financial responsibility, which was fine by me). I then returned the clipboard to her. Presumably that information will be (a) re-keyed into the system, or (b) scanned and retained and/or (c) retained in a paper file for x years. I wonder what they do if the information I first gave by phone does not tally with the information I entered on their forms?
In the treatment room, I was attended to by a nurse who carried a small laptop. She retrieved my profile and entered some text while asking me questions. Hmmm, I said to myself, they really DO have my record electronically, so why did I have to repeat the effort in the waiting room? Also, did her laptop have the information I gave by phone OR the information that I had written on the forms about 10-15 minutes earlier. Who knows?
HereG«÷s my perspective:
I like the telephone based info capture. I like the laptop based record keeping. Real time, direct entry.
I dislike the redundant form entry in the waiting room. DonG«÷t ask me to do something twice, just donG«÷t.
If you take my details by phone, then when I arrive, simply print my record (or steer me to a kiosk/tablet) and ask me to edit anything wrong or missing and sign it. You can then simply edit the EMR. I donG«÷t mind signing the privacy forms, but why not give me an electronic version?
Train your staff to know what has been done beforehand, to check the system beforehand. That way I wonG«÷t waste my time with paperwork and your staff will save time on re-keying (as well as reducing the risk of keying errors).
ThatG«÷s true electronic health care!
ItG«÷s PEOPLE, PROCESS and then itG«÷s TECHNOLOGY!