February 2015

February 2015

Electronic health records have been both a boon and a curse, streamlining documentation efforts and reducing error while at the same time distancing doctors from the crucial heart-to-heart connection with the patient.

If your EHR process is getting in the way of creating meaningful connection, consider something radical: go old school, at least while you're with your patient. During initial visits and re-examinations--times when it's critical to develop rapport--step back to paper notation.

Then--and this part is key--schedule time to go back and work up that episode of care, using your paper notes and an internal system to prompt what needs to be added into your EHR. If you're not able to give patients your full attention while documenting, consider making this a two-step process. The key piece is making sure you've set aside scheduled time, every day, to catch up on EHR. Consider this like an appointment on your schedule, every bit as important as a patient examination.

You may need to play around with what kind of schedule works for you until you find the best fit. But once you do, you'll be amazed at how productive--and connected to your patients---you'll become.

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