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Requesting a New EMR Encounter Form: Introduction

An EMR encounter form (EF) can be a powerful tool to assist documentation and support clinical decisions. It may seem that creating a new EF is a simple matter but it is often not.

An EF is only useful if it is used. An EF will be used if it "makes it easy to do it right", meaning that it:

  • helps solve a clinic's "top 10" problem
  • is easy to learn and use
  • integrates with preferred workflows
  • saves steps
  • saves time
  • supports clinical decision-making
  • improves quality
  • enhances financial performance

The Carpenter's Rule: "Measure twice, cut once"

Building an EF right the first time means following the carpenter's rule. Doing one's homework before requesting and building an EF can save a lot of frustrating and expensive rework later. The backgroud work needed to create an EF that people will be happy to use includes:

  • significant user experience with relevant EFs to inform the request
  • consensus-building in the clinic/department around the need for the EF before form-building begins
  • clinic agreement with the content, organization and functionality of the requested EF
  • lots of careful advance planning and design work
  • a EF "blueprint"document that:
    • has been approved by the requesting clinic/department
    • satisfactorily fulfills the request
    • is endorsed by the EMR Medical Director or Forms Editorial Board Chair
    • is clear, accurate, and comprehensive
    • complies with HealthTeam and EMR Executive Committee standards, policies and procedures
    • allows for EF development without excessive consumption of limited resources
  • active participation and effort by representatives of expected or likely EF users
  • timely completion and follow-up on all tasks

Please check out the "Related Links" the top of the page to learn more about the steps involved in requesting a new encounter form for your clinic.

Related Links

Requesting EFs - Introduction

EF Requests: Info Needed

Flow diagram: EF request process

Steps in EF request process

EF request checklist

Form Items to Use

Creating an EF Sketch

Encounter form production