In my delight at being able to get all of my charting done by the end of every day for the past month, I thought I’d reflect on my development as an EMR user over this past year. Since I began using my current EMR system in February of 2010, I found myself getting faster and faster, more and more efficient as month after month passed. Just like a video game that one plays over and over again, I gradually learned every twist and turn of my EMR system, to the point that I’m at now. It was a gradual process of learning how to manage my time during the day to get all of the work done in the context of using an EMR system: chart notes written and signed, phone calls returned, lab results reviewed and addressed, prescriptions called in, and email messages answered. What a journey it has been, a true transformation of myself and my practice. My wish for all physicians converting their practices from paper to electronic is that they approach the process with an open mind and willingness to learn a lot of new lessons, no matter their age or experience level.
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.