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Electronic
Medical
Record
 

EMR Makes Paper Chart Pulls a Thing of the Past for Some MSU Clinics


July 2004

Rapid adoption and effective use of Centricity Physician Office EMR (formerly Logician) has meant that an increasing number of MSU HealthTeam clinics no longer need to rely on paper charts to deliver high quality patient care. Providers and staff in these clinics have worked hard to become proficient EMR users and worked together to use this advanced health information technology tool to redesign and improve processes of care.

Among the rewards for this hard work is an EMR chart for each patient that is legible, more organized, and always available, whether from the office, the hospital or home. Having important information in the EMR instead of in a paper chart also helps improve decision-making, patient safety, office efficiency, and the timeliness of care. Fewer paper chart pulls also gives us greater ability to control the rising costs of health care.

Here is the progress the MSU Clinical Center facility has made since the EMR went "live":

Since the first phase of HT-wide EMR "go-live" began in late October of 2002, MSU Clinical Center clinics have decreased paper chart pulls by 60% overall, with some clinics decreasing paper chart use by 93-97%, as summarized in the table below:

Average MonthlyPaper Chart Pulls: MSU Clinical Center

 

2002

2004

% of Base Avg

INTERNAL MEDICINE

3478

112

3%

FAMILY PRACTICE

2741

197

7%

CARDIOLOGY

859

140

16%

OMM

963

804

83%

NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY

1823

1485

81%

REHABILITATION

554

443

80%

CHM PEDIATRICS

1104

1260

114%

FAMILY MEDICINE

576

499

87%

Totals

12293

4941

40%

Decrease in Paper Chart Pulls

60%

This is a remarkable achievement, particularly since it was done without decreasing the number of appointments available to our patients and was done without any adjustment of the many other University duties that academic physicians are engaged in. While some clinics have yet to achieve reductions in paper chart pulls, their recent progress in EMR use predicts that they will also make progress in this area in the coming months.

For more information on the problems with paper charts and the call for nationwide adoption of electronic health record systems, please see:

The Computer-Based Patient Record: An Essential Technology for Health Care, Revised Edition (1997)

Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001)

- M. Zaroukian, MD, PhD
EMR Medical Director

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