Some paper workarounds can enhance EMRs, study says

For years, we've been hearing about how a partial EMR implementation creates the need for dual electronic and paper systems, and we've always assumed that this scenario is highly inefficient. Well, you know what they say what happens when you assume something: To that end, a new study from the Regenstrief Institute suggests that old-fashioned pen and paper can boost the power of an EMR.

For the study, researchers found that 20 healthcare workers at Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis regularly performed 11 types of paper workarounds, most often for ease of use, as a memory aid and to alert colleagues to new or important information, Healthcare IT News reports. In one case that the researchers deemed a useful application of paper, patients with high blood pressure were given pink index cards upon arrival at an outpatient clinic so physicians could instantly know who had the condition. The same information went into the EMR, which the study authors said was a critical step to reduce the potential for error.

To learn more about these findings:
- read the Healthcare IT News story