How CPOE Will Make Healthcare Smarter

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , December 3, 2013

Albany Medical Center still uses dictation as a form of getting documentation into the record, Hickman says. "It can be done in a very structured way or it can be done in a very unstructured way. We provide it both ways, especially with the physician clinic supporting the EHR," he says.

At Chatham Memorial, Powe employs printer control to tame the paper monster. Working with printer supplier Ricoh, Powe removed many printers from the hospital, and put technology in place to figure out what is still being printed and by whom.

"I have no idea what some of these documents are, but I got the person working for me who does, so I'll say, 'Hey, go find out where this is coming from and why is it coming out of the system instead of staying in the system,' " Powe says.

Despite best efforts, CIOs might feel a little like they're playing whack-a-mole as paper notes continue to pop up. But eventually, physicians will be in the habit of doing it electronically.

"Now in your beginning stages, no matter what software product you implement, everybody will whine, moan, and groan," Powe says. "Three months later, you turn it off for a software patch or something. Everybody will whine, moan, and groan, 'What do we do now? The system's never down.' "

But while that presents its own challenges, the fact that physicians now can't live without the EHR was exactly the point of meaningful use in the first place.

Reprint HLR1113-6

This article appears in the November issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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