Just One More Patient: Optimizing EMR Documentation in Ambulatory Care


The adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) in primary care settings is on the rise in the United States and many are feeling the stress. The introduction of the EMR or transition to a new EMR is known to create workflow challenges for primary care providers and their office staff, as was the case in our health system. This study evolved out of an attempt to alleviate stress by defining the best practice or most optimal way to document office visits, allowing providers to see just one more patient each day. We leveraged a change management model that encourages looking for what is working vs. throwing resources at problem areas. By doing so we identified several distinguishing behaviors among providers who were doing exceptionally well with the EMR. We deployed an intervention aimed at enhancing the identified behaviors in a group of providers and it resulted marked improvement in efficiency.

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