One thing that tends to happen with any new technology is that old processes are just overlaid onto the new system design. Organizations are overwhelmed by the steps and impact that a new system such as an EMR will have on their daily workflows and it’s just easier to do what you’re doing before, just on a computer. Unfortunately, they miss the point of leveraging new technology to improve processes. An EMR is not a fancy paper record. But you have Legal and Compliance departments wanting to use the same standard that was used for paper charts and apply them to the electronic forms. No new forms, without Legal review, make sure all the required legal statements are on all the forms…because that’s the way we always have done it.
It’s harder to tackle all the new issues like coding, compliance, legal forms and ownership of the record. What happens after a merger? What about affiliated ambulatory clinics not part of the organization? Electronic Health Records needs to be flexible enough to accommodate various workflows by specialties and the beauty about it is that changing forms to customize by specialty does not come with a hefty reproduction expense. So what is your legal department doing to adjust to the new EMR initiatives? Old school or ready for a paradigm shift?