Dr. Irina Turchin
Dermatologist Dr. Irina Turchin’s goal when she implemented the Provincial EMR in December 2013 was a more efficient practice – an objective she quickly achieved.
“The speed in which we get things done has improved patient care; we can look up results and notes faster instead of having to find and pull charts. In turn, this means that we can take required next steps faster as well,” she reflects, adding that EMR’s improve communication among physicians. “When we see patients, consultation notes have to go to their family physician. With the EMR, we can finish the follow-up note on the same day as the appointment, and send it instantly.”
She is looking forward to receiving further training and optimizing the program for her clinical needs, but overall, Dr. Turchin felt the learning curve was minimal.
“By the third day of training, I was using the Provincial EMR full-time,” she said, noting her entire staff also easily adapted to the program. “We can’t imagine going back to paper and pulling charts. Billing is also much more efficient.”
For those who have practiced in New Brunswick for a long time, she’s got some national experience to share. “When I did medical school in Calgary a decade ago, EMRs were widely available in most family offices and in academic centres. It was simply the way to practice.” She also has seen the costs of mountains of paper. “I did my residency at McGill, which was not computerised – we had lots of charts and they came with tremendous problems. They had to pay to store old charts off site at enormous cost.”
She has some succinct advice for those who haven’t yet bought into the concept: “Just go see it! Have the Velante staff come over and show the benefits, and maybe then make your decision. Discuss it with your colleagues around or in other provinces that have it.” She notes the clear conclusion of those who have an EMR: “I haven’t seen anyone who has gone to an EMR and then switched back to paper.”