“The HSJ [Health Service Journal] found six out of the 49 trusts had 5% or more notes missing. On average 2.6% of outpatient records were missing.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust reported the highest rate, with 19% of outpatient records unavailable at the start of clinic.”
Those are some crazy numbers. Let’s assume that the average general practitioner sees 30 patients over the course of a day. By extending the numbers that means at the start of the clinic 6 of the patients won’t have a chart present, 2 notes will be forgotten (missing) and 1 patient visit won’t be recorded at all.
I will say this for EMR and electronic scheduling; they improve practice management. A record of every appointment is automatically created, no charts will be missing (short of recording the wrong patient name/identifier; but that’s another post) and it is easy to make some sort of a rudimentary note. It’s been my experience that when a clinic is hopping, providers will not make notes whether they are using a paper or digital chart. So missing notes will always be a problem. But, you can create logic in the EMR (or have a staff member double check the computer) to ensure every patient that arrived had a note made by the clinician who cared for them. EMR may not save health care wait times but it will definitely decrease on paperwork chasing.
For a blog-en-blog throw-down about e-Health in general go to Dr. Wes it’s a great read.