The following guidelines will help guide the physician-patient interaction and make your transition to EMR
a gentler experience.
Remember to interact with your patient.
Before turning on the monitor to review previous records, talk to the patient.
Continue addressing the patient while you register data into their EMR.
Point to the screen to show the patient pertinent data you are viewing or discussing.
Try to remember the following patient-focused tactics:
— Focus more on the patient than the monitor during office visits
— Avoid typing while patients discuss concerns
— Avoid reading from the monitor while patients await your attention
Encourage patient participation.
As you construct their charts in front of them, your patients may be curious. Allow them to be a part of the process and alert them as to what you are doing. Two examples are:
"Would you mind if I typed some notes into your chart?"
"Let me show you a trend of your lab results"
As you know from experience and education, tactics such as these give patients greater confidence in their care and improve the physician-patient relationship.
Delegate routine data entry.
Have your nurses and medical assistants enter basic patient information such as histories and vital signs into the EMR before you enter the exam room. Delegation of these tasks will maximize EMR's potential to enable an increase in allocated exam time with each patient.
Finally, determine what works best for you.
The above should serve as guides for your interaction with your patients as you transition to the EMR. Each provider will learn to integrate this new aspect of the clinical environment in a manner that balances what serves both you and the patient. For more information, please review the article from Health Informatics Journal, The Influence of EMR usage on Nonverbal Communication in the Medical Interview.