Electronic medical records have the same problem that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications have had in business for over 20 years. Physicians, Nurses and Admin workers hate the systems. Why? They have to spend extra hours every day updating the patient data and much less time analyzing information to help them treat their patients. According to Bruce Korus, co-founder of the Health Innovation Think Tank (HITT) and a top Healthcare Industry Consultant, the University of Wisconsin Madison, studied the time spent by primary care physicians (PCP) on data input. They found PCP’s spent about 6 hours a day, with many hours spent outside of clinic hours updating records.
According to former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb interview in March 2019, “some electronic health-record systems in Emergency Rooms (ER) require 62 clicks just to order Tylenol, and a full ER shift involves 4,000 clicks.”
The healthcare industry is about 10 years behind other industries and can avoid many of the same mistakes.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems Still SU*K
CRM systems were originally designed as a giant database for management, marketing and reporting… not for improving the productivity of the sales professionals and support teams that had to use them. Most sales people today still hate their systems and only put enough info into them to keep their jobs.
The good news is that many leading CRM systems are dramatically changing the user interface. Now the modern CRM systems are integrated with other systems and databases. They use industry standard APIs (application programing interfaces) to automatically update the customer information. This dramatically reduces the extra hours per day that sales professionals spend entering data about their customers. They can spend more time with customers’ analyzing their needs and proposing better solutions. Their focus has shifted from data entry to data analysis and customer communications.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Systems Still SU*K
Electronic Medical Records Systems were originally designed as giant databases for management, healthcare regulations, billing and insurance processing… not for improving the productivity of the physicians, nurses and administrative professionals. As a result, most healthcare professionals have seen a dramatic increase in data entry hours, longer work days, less time with patients. They literally “hate” using the electronic medical records systems. This has contributed to high levels of physician burnout,
How EMRs are about to get easier to use
…and reduce data entry time
The business world is very focused on digitally transforming their customer experiences and their employee experiences using the latest technology. The healthcare industry is focused on improving the patient experience and the physician, nurse and administration professionals experience. As a result of this new mega-trend, the new electronic medical records technology and processes are now focusing on:
Automating the input of patient information into Electronic Medical Records
Collecting real-time data and trends
Getting patients to wear medical devices (like the new Apple Watch) to collect more and better information
Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to monitor and send medical alerts
Reducing physician data entry with AI assistance and voice recognition technology
Increasing the amount of time with patients
One Example of Change: The Apple Watch is now a Medical Device
Leading technology companies and venture capital firms are investing billions of dollars in new technology to better help the industry. Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM are heavily investing in new advanced healthcare products and services. The new Apple Watch is one example of technology that will automatically increase the amount of patient information. Medical professionals will spend less time performing data entry functions and more time with patients.
For the first time, millions of people will be walking around with FDA-cleared medical devices collecting health data in an encrypted, HIPAA-approved, personal electronic medical record. This information can be automatically integrated with an official health facility’s electronic medical record while minimizing the need for a physician to enter even more data.
The New Apple Watch - Series 4 - Example
In September 2018, Apple rolled out its first smartwatch (Apple Watch - Series 4) that is considered a medical device. It has the following features:
FDA cleared heart monitoring
FDA cleared ECG reporting
Fall monitoring (if you fall down and you’re on the ground for more than 60-seconds, your watch sends for help to your key contacts)
Emergency alert systems
Personal encrypted Electronic Medical Record (EMR) - All your medical data that is created on the Apple Watch is automatically collected 24/7 in the Apple encrypted personal medical record. This data can be synced to your health professionals’ medical records system before the patient has even visited.
This eliminates lots of data entry on the day of an appointment. The smartwatch can also provide exact date and time of any patient incident vs when they are in an exam and the symptoms are not presenting.
The Bottom Line
So the bottom line is more patient data will be exponentially added to a patient’s digital medical record automatically by wearables, implantables and internet enabled home monitoring devices. As more information is added to the record, healthcare professionals will spend less time on data entry and more time getting recommendations and tips from AI that can help them before, during and after a patient visit.