Providers, Patients, and Specialists Keep in Touch with EMRs
Electronic medical records (EMRs) have made many positive changes in health care. ThedaCare implemented Epic as their EMR system in 2000. With Epic, the time to obtain medical records from other health care systems is significantly less than the time it would take to send them in the mail. Having the most up-to-date patient information available also gives the provider important, possibly life-saving information, when treating a patient.
According to Cynthia Fisher, DO, of ThedaCare Physicians-Berlin, both you and your doctors can have better conversations and make better, safer, and more informed decisions with accurate, up-to-date information at your fingertips. EMRs paint a comprehensive picture of a person’s health, and this can help a health care provider diagnose a patient’s problems sooner. “The Epic system helps ensure I have a complete set of records in front of me,” Dr. Fisher said. “I can search a person’s record by topic or category, such as immunizations, tests and screenings, or current and prior prescriptions, and not have to shuffle through paper notes written in different formats by each previous provider. It saves a lot to time, too.”
EMRs don’t just store medical records, they analyze them in ways that protect a patient and help the health care team. For example, an EMR will issue an alert if a medicine is prescribed and the patient has a known allergy to the drug. If a person is brought to the emergency room, this same information is flagged, as is a chronic disease diagnosis, like diabetes.
For patients, convenience comes via the computer:
- Patients no longer have to fill out repeat paper forms at each office visit.
- Prescription refills can be requested and electronically sent to a person’s preferred pharmacy.
- Referrals to specialists are complete in the click of a button, and the receiving office will respond with a call to schedule your first appointment. Specialists enter their notes into the same EMR system, so your primary care provider is updated in real time on your diagnosis and care plan.
- A secure web portal like MyThedaCare.org allows patients to message their provider and care team and get a more timely response. “Easy communication through MyThedaCare helps me decide if a patient should make an appointment to come in,” Dr. Fisher said. “It’s a way to stay in touch to clarify any patient concerns, answer questions, and alleviate potential high risk issues if they weren’t sure what to do. It’s a great way to communicate with patients.”
- Via MyThedaCare.org, patients have online access to their visit summaries, lists of prescribed medicines, test results, and upcoming appointments. It’s a reliable record of all they’ve discussed with their doctor and a great review of their visit.
- ThedaCare’s e-Visits are made possible via myThedaCare.org. E-Visits do not require patients to go into a clinic to be seen in person by a care provider; rather, patients log on to their MyThedaCare private web account, select what they want to be “seen” for, and answer several questions specific to their ailment. They can even upload a photo to show their doctor their condition. Within two hours, they will receive a response from their healthcare provider, including a plan of care and a prescription, if needed. E-Visits cost $35.
Are you looking for a doctor to help you and your family stay in touch and stay healthy? Dr. Fisher of ThedaCare Physicians-Berlin is accepting new patients. Call her office directly at 920. 361.5770 or call ThedaCare On Call at 920.830.6877 or go to www.thedacare.org and click on “Find a Doctor” to get connected.