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Omicron on the Rise

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, Medical Health professionals have been under an unprecedented amount of pressure due to an influx of COVID patients. With the new Omicron variant surging across America, physicians are likely to see a new surge in patients going into 2022. The technology at their disposal should be functionally efficient to account for the increasing number of patients who need high-level care. Unfortunately, the current state of EHRs cannot provide that level of efficiency.

Tired Nurse - Electronic Health Records Causing Major Headaches with Omicron on the Rise

Fed Up Physicians

The inefficiency of EHRs is a strain for many physicians – in fact, The American Medical Association has found that somewhere between 11% to 60% of the physician turnover in 2021 was related to frustrations with EHR systems. Many physicians report that they are not user friendly and generally operate poorly during the exchange of patient information. New problems are expected to arise with EHR services as well due to new rules expected to be put into place by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. These rules are meant to block EHR vendors from readily accessing and exchanging medical records, which is likely to cause a greater number of issues related to EHR processing.

With the current inefficient EHR technology, physicians are not adequately equipped to provide the highest possible level of care. Fortunately, many apps are being created to improve the functionality of EHR systems, with a 20% increase in EHR-integrated apps becoming available in 2020. These apps offer such functions as schedule processing, check-in and billing, as well as dealing with clinical functions, care management and patient engagement. These apps have the potential to prepare physicians for the challenges they will likely face with the increasing number of COVID patients during 2022. However, expanding the functionality of EHR services does not properly address the issues already in place.

Streamlining the Systems

Measures must be taken to mend the current systems. A few of the most promising solutions to EHR-related problems are the integration of automatic processing of patient information and medical transcription services. Many physicians complain that much of their time with patients is spent focusing on EHRs rather than on the actual patient. Speedier retrieval of patient information would allow physicians to engage directly with the patient rather than staring at a screen for the majority of their appointments. Automatic processing would also improve patient care and reduce expenses associated with manual processing. Quicker access to patient information means a quicker route to care, as a physician can readily discuss treatment without having to schedule another appointment. Utilizing a medical transcription service for EHR transcription would allow physicians to take on more patients in shorter sessions, properly preparing them for the increasing number of Coronavirus patients.