Straight Talk Tuesday

I wonder how many “eligible providers” are doing point of care documentation? That means in the room with the patient.

To reap the benefits of health care information technology, you have to do point of care documentation. You need to use electronic prescribing so that you find out those drug-drug interactions before you send in the prescription. You need to have the chance to get clinical decision support for quality measures and achieve your other EHR meaningful use metrics. I’ve been doing point of care documentation with a computer in the room with the patient since 1997 when the Memorial Hermann Center for Wound Care went live with the first version of Intellicure. It’s been a huge success with patients. I give them copies of todays’ notes, home nursing orders, letters to their referring doctor, photographs, and all sorts of other documents that I generate at the “bedside.” Nearly every patient leaves with a paper in their hands generated by the EHR, including patient informational materials stored in the EHR for on demand printing so I don’t have to clutter up exam rooms with brochures and booklets.

I am constantly amazed when I talk to doctors who HAVE an EHR and still don’t do point of care charting. You have to do the charting sooner or later. Do you really want to stay up until midnight doing it at home?