Fits like a Glove?
A recent article assessing the effect of EMR Implementation on clinical productivity came to a rather common sense solution. The evaluation found that “different tools work better in different settings and that one-size-fits-all is not a valid approach to EHR implementation.” This finding is predictable and holds true in almost all applications. The interesting part of this article is where the assessment goes next. They go on to speak about usability and how they have attempted to create a very user-friendly experience. While usability can hinder your productivity, there is another factor that is just as, if not more important, than usability that most EMR vendors ignore. That aspect is specialization.
A majority of the vendors out there are used in different offices for many different disciplines. If they assert that a one size fits all solution isn’t the best way to go, then why are they offering that exact thing to their potential customers?
We have always been concerned with usability, but at the crux of our company is our focus on Physical Therapy as an industry.
Specialization leads to Usability
Our Documentation, clinical workflow, reporting, features, Etc. are all based on the needs of a Physical Therapy Practice. The specialization of WebPT allows us to eliminate many of the productivity issues right off the bat. The system was designed to mimic the flow of care in the office. At this point in the process of development is where you can see that specialization automatically leads to usability. If our most basic task is to build and EMR that is the best choice for physical therapists, we have to make sure that all of their needs are met. Usability is a piece to that puzzle.
I think the state of the EMR industry as it currently stands is missing the point when it comes to implementation. The conversations all revolve around usability, but that’s as far as they go. What about making a system that fits the needs of a particular discipline? Every medical specialty is different by nature and so EMR vendors need to realize that. We understand the needs of a very specific group of clinicians and seek to meet those needs 100%.
Other EMR vendors should realize that fitting every specialty into one EMR would kill productivity no matter how many meetings you have about usability. When searching for an EMR vendor, make sure to establish their focus on your profession or you might be left with one-size-fits-all software.