I have something exciting to share today! I’ve finally made a breakthrough and leaped over the threshold of no longer requiring dictation for my medical office notes. At least for 99% of what I see in practice. This means I no longer have notes to finish and eat into personal time after work. For doctors, having nights and weekends to themselves is nearly unheard of in 2011, but for the past two weeks, this has been exactly what has been happening for me! It’s a tremendous feeling of freedom. The breakthrough occurred when I finally started implementing templates for various conditions that I see and treat. It hasn’t been my preferred way to write the notes in the past because I felt it was more authentic to dictate and include unique pieces of the stories patients were telling me during our visits.
I finally broke down and tried a few templates for the more common types of conditions I see, and that was all I needed to do to see that it works just fine. Now I spend a few minutes filling in blanks like a mad-lib during visits. This works very effectively and efficiently, and my notes turn out similarly to when I was previously dictating them. So that’s that. Just another reason that I can be a happy emr doctor!
Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009. He can be reached at email@example.com.