Now that patients have the legal right to information that is in their Charts, you may need to allocate more time to responding to questions and this will mean less time available for meeting with patients.
For many, this is the exact opposite expectation following a transition from paper charts to an EMR.
Funny how an objective can go from ‘patients not paper’ to ‘patients not patient inquiries’.
With the old paper Chart, assuming session notes recorded were readable and these notes were in chronological order, giving the patient a copy of part or all of his/her Chart, however labor intensive this might have been, would have resulted in questions, but nothing compared to the questions you are likely to get from an electronic chart that in many cases is nothing more than a repository of raw patient session data.
Most of the EMR software systems on the market today were not designed to cater to the needs of patients – they were designed to provide context and situation specific advice and assistance to healthcare professionals, address interoperability issues and eliminate paper.
If you are in the market for an EMR system and want to avoid long phone calls with patients re the content of their electronic charts, look for a system that can provide patients with a digital equivalent of the old paper chart (data as it was, at the time it was collected, on the form versions that were in service at the time the data was collected).
EMRs that meet these criteria are easy to recognize – they will have the same look/feel as if you had taken digital photos of each piece of paper/document in the old paper chart and provided a copy to the patient.
You will still get calls but these will be a small fraction of the calls you will get if your EMR is not capable of presenting data in a format that is easy for patients to view