Contributed by Marsha Foster, OntarioMD Practice Enhancement Consultant
Does this sound familiar? Your clinic has had an electronic medical record (EMR) for some time now. Things seem to be running OK… but maybe you expected everything to be a little easier by now. Some questions linger in the back of your mind: Is my data truly sound? Could I use my EMR to better understand my diabetic population? Is there an easier way to keep tabs on my preventive care?
OntarioMD’s EMR Practice Enhancement Program (EPEP) is aimed at helping physicians answer these types of questions to optimize their EMR data and functionality. EPEP is a service available to all Ontario primary care providers and community specialists using a certified EMR. A typical EPEP engagement will start with a meeting between you and your Practice Enhancement Consultant (PEC), held at your office at a time that’s convenient for you. Together, you’ll discuss your areas of interest and practice priorities. Your PEC may also ask you to demonstrate some of your favourite ways to document information in your EMR. Your PEC will then perform an in-depth analysis of your EMR data.
After all this initial work is done, your PEC will present their findings and recommend steps you can take to streamline your workflow and use your EMR to achieve your practice objectives. The choice is always yours as to how closely you follow your PEC’s recommendations.
An EPEP success story
The services of a PEC were requested by a family health organization in the Greater Toronto Area that was concerned about the inaccurate data they saw in their EMR around preventive care and cancer screening. They knew their team of five physicians was providing good care, but this was not being reflected in their ministry reports. Instead of documenting their work in an easily trackable manner, they relied on detailed documents sent from the ministry, and spent many hours manually updating patient charts.
The PEC’s data analysis uncovered an issue with the clinic’s roster status process. This process gap was the cause of the poor preventive care reports being produced.
The PEC demonstrated a best practice that could be used to correct the roster status within the EMR. The clinicians and staff agreed to implement the changes suggested by the PEC, and the data gap was closed within a short amount of time. The roster clean-up dramatically improved the clinic’s preventive care reports, and eliminated the hours needed for manual updates. That was time the clinic could start dedicating to other activities and services.
This is just one story of how small changes can have big impact! To meet with a PEC and see how EPEP can improve your practice efficiency, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.