Dr. Jamie Henderson
Now retired, former rheumatologist Dr. Jamie Henderson has passed through all steps of the Provincial EMR process of implementation, patient data entry, and preparing a paperless practice for his successor. He describes the Provincial EMR as “the way of the future”, and for Dr. Henderson, that’s true in more ways than one, as he believes having the Provincial EMR already up and running will improve his recruitment options.
Since his patient information is uploaded into the Provincial EMR, he doesn’t have to worry about finding room in his home to store thousands of paper files, or having to pay a third-party company for the service.
“The next generation of doctors is not going to want to touch a practice with paper charts,” said Dr. Henderson. “My decision to switch to an EMR means a smoother transition with fewer headaches for someone new.”
There was a cost upfront for him as a fee-for-service physician, but he describes it as a worthy investment. “It gave me a smooth transition into the modern day. It’s was about an investment in patients and not necessarily investment in me. For me, the biggest plus is not having to deal with storing charts. For these benefits, the money wasn’t a big issue.”
The biggest impact for Dr. Henderson was being able to access to laboratory data and X-rays at the click of a mouse. “In the old days, I needed to get my X-rays shipped by post from all over the province. With the EMR, I was able to get instant access.”
“It just made life simpler, and my patient care improved as a result. By the end, my office was almost entirely paper-free.”
Dr. Henderson’s patients had positive comments about his use of an EMR.
“They were pretty amazed. They would come in and tell me they had blood work done the day prior – and I could access the results then and there through the lab viewer. They were impressed that I could monitor their health at a distance with speed and accuracy. They felt very informed about their health status.”
“Rather than sorting through a paper file, everything could be accessed at the click of a mouse. Things moved along a lot faster. I could take care of billing as the patient was leaving the office.” This allowed for a major reduction in his assistant’s workload – for example, the need for filing was completely eliminated.
Dr. Henderson has some advice for doctors who are thinking about implementing the Provincial EMR. “For someone who has been in practice for a long time, there is a fair bit of work to go from physical charts to paperless. But having done that, the work is smoother. Do it now, rather than later. I would definitely recommend anyone who is thinking of implementing, regardless of the stage of their practice, to strongly consider how an EMR can work for you whether it’s improving your current practice, preparing for retirement, or expanding your recruitment options.”