The problem list illustrates an important part of selecting and implementing an EMR. I believe that most if not all practices like to have a problem list that shows some of the most important information on that patient without too much fluff. I’m not a doctor so I’m not really into debating the pros and cons. I’m sure that’s been done many times before. Now that you’re convinced(and if you’re not I’d love to hear why), this is a benefit of an EMR system.
The EMR should populate your problem list for you(at least in large part). Whenever you do something on a patient the EMR should automatically populate this problem list for any future visits. There shouldn’t be a need to go back to the previous note unless something triggers a need for more details. You should have a good overview of the patient with little updating on your part. This will take some forethought on your implementation side and from your EMR vendors side to ensure that you have a quality problem list.
Take for example a Health History form where a patient fills out a Past Medical History and any Family Medical History. This could be important information on your problem list. How is it going to get there is an important question to know when choosing and implementing an EMR.
Just too add to the idea, a Problem List may be an important question that I bet is rarely asked when evaluating EMR vendors. If that is important to you then you better ask how it works. Not all EMR’s are alike.