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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Turning the EHR into a project management tool

I have spent a few hours this morning finishing my notes from my clinic yesterday. It occurred to me that for each patient when my note was completed, I had a series of tasks which needed to be done in the future. However, the EHR I use is really poorly equipped to aid me in tracking my future tasks.

EHR's still tend to be used as documentation tools as opposed to something that adds value by helping our brains remember what needs to be done, what has been done, and helping us decide what should be done. There are circumstances where the EHR needs to function simply as a note generator, but that really barely touches upon where it can provide value.

For each patient who I follow long term, I need the equivalent of a project management tool since in many respect, the care of each patient is a long term project. For each patient I need to define what is on my to do list, what am I in the midst of doing, what specific action items are on my plate, and what have I delegated to someone else. At this point in time, the EHR I use does none of this well and many of the tasks it simply has no functionality to use.

Hard to believe that we continue to use such dysfunctional management tools.

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