Saturday, July 19, 2014

EMR drop down menu is a pitfall or advantage

EMR drop down menu is a pitfall or advantage

The use and need of EMR software check over here are reaching a new height of demand with time. Using software for recording and accessing all patient data has made medical data recording technology much swifter and faster. However, though there has been lot of advancement and worldwide usage of the software, it is still facing some pitfalls. While working on such software, a medical practitioner has to have face real time issues. A major one among many such fall backs is the dominance of drop down menus to segregate various diseases, symptoms, categories etc. Though meant to simplify and centralize the recording method, the same drop down menu many a times fail to meet the real time issues and need.

Why Drop Down Menu in EMR software?
  • Categorizes all the syndromes, symptoms, diseases in an organized way
  • Makes work easier for a practitioner who just needs to select a appropriate category for his patient
  • Saves time by escaping free typing with pre-listed categorical divisions
  • It is easy to handle
  • Facilitates the data entry procedure to a great extent

However at the same time this drop down menu can also be problematic. Since a practitioner needs to select a suitable and appropriate symptom of his patient from the hundreds of listed symptoms, it might not always fulfill the requirement. This is when the problem arises leading to further complications.

Sort of issues with drop down menus

Like for example if a patient complains about high pressure in his first visit, the doctor selects high pressure from the drop down list of EMR software and records the treatment records of the patient and more information on drop-down menus of so-called best practices at At the next visit the patient might not even have a complaint about high pressure; he might have complaint of breathlessness. However the patient ultimately meets a cardiac attack and the cardiologist is sued for not being able to treat him properly.
A common error that might occur with drop down menu is that while selecting the preferable category from a huge list of hundreds of category a practitioner may accidentally select a medication below or above the exact one. This kind of accidental click might lead to potential disasters later on. Moreover, accidental or mistaken information once fed to EHR or EMR software sustains and circulates leading to potential errors in future.

How can one prevent such errors?

·        One must attempt to select the most appropriate category while selecting from the drop down list
·        Practitioners can invest more attention on free typing and keeping detailed note of patients symptoms and condition from second visit onwards
·        Practitioners should communicate with the service providers immediately after finding out any pit fall in the EMR software

Though there might be some pitfalls with drop down lists, one cannot omit the advantages it offers at the same time. Therefore these kinds of pitfalls can be tackled with particular development on the issues and by taking cautious steps to prevent any potential error while handling the software by healthcare workers. 

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