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Transitioning to EHR

Respondents to Optometric Office’s survey regarding the switch to electronic health records (EHR) were mixed. Though the majority (83%) are using EHR and 80% are participating in Meaningful Use, many wrote about the host of challenges they continue to face (see comments below). For those who have not yet made the move, reasons vary from “can’t deal with the hassle of it all” to “takes too long to enter data” to “previous attempts were very costly and failed” to the “wish to wait until better products are out.” Below are more in-depth comments regarding an eyecare professional’s biggest EHR challenges.

“Time-consuming. You also can’t always see the patient face to face, making it less personal.”

“The biggest challenge is to continue to process the same number of patients or more with the added burden of EHR.”

“Slows exam time and problems with materials/products.”

“Software does not keep up with the specific lens types needed.”

“The depersonalization of the patient visit. The computer becomes the center of the visit as you have to concentrate on the computer, rather than the patient.”

“Data entry speed.”

“Initial setup and training.”

“Speed and IT glitches.”

“Slower exam time due to increased requirements, more documentation.”

“Computer freezes up during exams.”

“Knowing which system will survive the government requirements because I believe we will all be on one system eventually.”

“Training, training, training!”

“The writers of the EHR don’t understand what doctors actually need; they make the screens too bulky and tedious.”

“Having a software program that fits our needs.”

“Editing time frames.”

“Cost and training time.”

“Steep learning curve for new staff.”

“Less “˜eye time’ with appointments. Not as personal.”

“Still need to look up the diagnosis code too often. Not all clinical conditions are on the drop-down lists.”

“Never-ending IT costs.’

“Time””electronic charting has added significant doctor time to the day. The other issue is cost  savings via efficiency lost with increase in software/upgrade/IT costs.”

“EHR has brought an unexpected level of complexitiy to the processes that far outweigh the benefits.”

“Meeting the standards required by CMS for Meaningful Use.”

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