“We are getting a lot more information via the computer on the patient history than we did writing it down.”
Dr. Gerald West, D.O. used to break out in a rash. There were red blotches all over his body. No, it wasn’t an allergy. What then? He had a bad reaction to having to learn how to use a computer! These days, Dr. West’s rash is gone. The remedy: a user-friendly Otolaryngology EHR!
Not only has his rash disappeared, but Dr. West reports that he is actually having fun now that he’s using Waiting Room Solutions. “I sit myself down and adjust my shirt and I’m like a pianist who is ready to play,” he said as proudly as a true virtuoso.
Noting in his testimonial that he just celebrated his 40th anniversary as an otolaryngologist, Dr. West recalled what life was like at ENT Specialty Care in Goshen, NY before he started using WRS and he was a slave to paper charts.
With an EHR, worrying about good penmanship is passé. “Before I was writing and trying to keep my handwriting neat so that I could read it and somebody else could read it. Now, it’s basically some typing and hitting different boxes where the information comes up on the computer. Everything is legible. I can go back and read my previous note without difficulty and anybody can read my note. We are getting a lot more information through the computer on the patient history than we did writing it down,” reminisced Dr. West.
Writing in paper charts with abbreviations so that you can save time needed for patients is as outdated as Father Knows Best. “Now I can check off things and everything prints out. It’s easier to enter information and it’s easier to correct things,” Dr. West advised in his testimonial.
Worth Writing Home About
When Dr. West made the transition from paper charts to an Otolaryngology EHR, he took to the system like a kid playing a video game. There were however, a few hurdles he had to jump over before he got hip to computers.
Dr. West explained, “I was using an electric (digital) pen. I wasn’t very happy with it. Then I did a little computer work while using the electric pen. I found it very disturbing. One day when a few patients didn’t show up, I turned to the office manager who knew the system very well, and I said, ‘Now I want to be on the computer. Take this pen away from me.’ In the old days, when we first got a computer in my house and I brought people in to teach me, I would actually get a rash and would break out in red blotches because I was so frustrated. Now it’s fine. It’s an easy transition. Even if somebody chooses to make changes, hitting the buttons makes it very satisfying. The funny thing is, the patients are enjoying watching me on the computer because obviously I’m not a computer generation person. I’m sitting there and I’m clicking away. I have an advantage in that I know how to type from my days in high school. It’s a very easy transition for a non-computer person,” said Dr. West.
Emphasizing that because the office has multiple documents and multiple notes, Dr. West said sometimes there were problems with the legibility of handwriting. “With the EHR I can always pull up the entire screen and see what happened. It’s great because you can put in your diagnosis and each doctor can have their own diagnosis codes. Even if I want to add a code I keep a code screen next to me. I can enter note codes within seconds. The learning curve came very quickly and I’m not a computer person. I found being on the computer makes everything clearer for me. I can make any changes or modify it or customize it for myself. For an Otolaryngology doctor WRS EHR is fun. It’s so easy to get all the information in. As I continue to work on the computer, I continue to want to change some of the codes that are in there. It’s a very easy thing to do and in the past I had the staff do it for me. Now I change my diagnostic codes and also my procedure codes,” he said matter-of-factly.
Doctor versus Computer
Dubbing WRS “a doctor oriented” program, Dr. West said he is happy that it is not a “computer oriented” program. “WRS EHR does things the way I do as a physician. A physician worries about getting a patient’s history, physical, and medication list, getting them coded and getting your plan of treatment, so what I particularly love on the system is the assessment page. WRS thinks like a doctor thinks. That’s why the transition was so easy for me,” said Dr. West to conclude his testimonial.