Ok, I know you’ve all been waiting for me to post again on the issue of our electronic medical record. (cue: sound of crickets in an empty field…)
I’ve posted here and here about Misys EMR. Apparently they caught wind of this, and as a result of this and other "feedback" mechanisms, brought an EMR consultant (who works with them a lot) up to our little corner of the world to help us out. A late, but appreciated response.
The consultant was great – very helpful, lots of great ideas. Seems to be able to make the most of Misys EMR. It turns out that incorrect implementation is at fault for much of our misery with this EMR. The amount of workaround we are forced to do is just amazing. When I say "incorrect implementation," I mean that our IT "support" has not allowed us to implement various aspects of the EMR that would really help with our work flow – the messaging system etc. But, to be fair, we are in a resource-constrained environment, and part of a large academic health care institution that has MASSIVE IT and security concerns – which makes the customization of technology very difficult. This customization would require the use of non-standard software in our institution. This, in turn, is the fault of the EMR software – it works with only certain other pieces of software and apparently requires way too much in terms of hardware configuration – servers, etc. – to run properly. Add to that the rumor that Misys – despite owning the lab software and the EMR software – had never actually made them work together before…I can’t confirm if this is true or not, but it would certainly be concerning, because the lab interface that we now have is really tortuous and very inefficient. It’s barely better than not having an interface (but, honestly, IS still better).
This is very much a problem of our computer people not playing well in the sandbox with their computer people – each for their own reasons, and some of those reasons are actually justified. However, the forgotten piece of the equation is the physician (and other office staff) in the middle. The system, as currently implemented, still generally sucks – in the sense of how a contemporary EMR (complete with CCHIT certification) is supposed to be. And because it still sucks, we spend inordinate amounts of time in "workaround" mode. Numerous unnecessary clicks and more are required to achieve what are supposed to be the benefits of an EMR.
At its most capable, Misys EMR would be a moderately useful EMR I think, but not excellent. Unfortunately, I don’t see the way clear even to that goal right now without a lot of work – some of which I’ve been tasked to do…