Reducing EMR Impact on Physician Productivity

June 1, 2009

You recently highlighted a practice that implemented EMR. It was actually more productive after implementation. How did the implementation of the EMR contribute to this? We started EMR three months ago, and we decreased daily visits for the physicians to learn. So far, no one is near pre-EMR visit numbers, and the input is so time consuming that we don’t see that we ever will be seeing as many patients a day as pre-EMR.

Question: You recently highlighted a practice that implemented EMR. It was actually more productive after implementation. How did the implementation of the EMR contribute to this? We started EMR three months ago, and we decreased daily visits for the physicians to learn. So far, no one is near pre-EMR visit numbers, and the input is so time consuming that we don’t see that we ever will be seeing as many patients a day as pre-EMR.

Answer: For one thing, it’s important to look at the overall productivity of the group - physicians may be spending more time documenting, but has the workflow shifted so you are at least seeing less time handling prescription renewals, for example?

I’d also suggest targeting the trouble areas for your documentation problem.

Would things improve if physicians took time to set up more templates?

Or, if staff entered more basic info before the exam?

Some practices opt to just use voice recognition or even scribes to shortcut things.

Hope these ideas help.