5 Ways Your ED Documentation is Hurting Your Hospital

Posted on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

A frequent issue for hospitals after selecting an HIS is the Emergency Department electronic charting solution doesn’t meet the needs of the ED physicians or support hospital goals. This can lead to numerous issues throughout the hospital as up to 80% of admissions come through the ED and this could be a bottleneck that has huge implications on the hospitals. Here are 5 critical areas your ED documentation solution could be hurting your hospital.

1) Not Utilizing Real-Time Charting Concurrent with Patient Care.

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In the reality of the fast-paced Emergency Department, any task taking an ED Physician longer than 2 minutes to complete will be pushed back to the end of their shift. Many electronic solutions for the ED have helped from a patient tracking standpoint, but most lack the tools, that empower physicians to make and quickly document informed decisions as they care for the patients. This inevitably delays documentation until after the patient leaves their emergency department.

However, one way to significantly improve ED physician productivity is to enable the doctors with data capturing tools (digital pen, tablet, voice recognition) to fulfill their charting responsibilities in tandem with the care of the patient. Another is to make the emergency room software system so fast and easy that they can actually chart on their workstation while treating patients.  This can give physicians as much as 15% more time to see and care for their patients. With the right charting solution, ED doctors can leave the hospital at the end of their shift and are no longer saddled with an extra hour or two of work completing medical records for the patients that have already left the emergency department.

2) Unnecessary Admissions and Re-Admissions to the Emergency Department.

With reimbursement shifting from fee-for-service to readmission penalties, reducing unnecessary ED and hospital admissions has never been more urgent. It is also critical to create care plans to address frequent users and high risk patients to provide quality care.

Forerun's FlexChart, can identify these patients with a QA process to communicate their arrival, helping ensure immediate activation and implementation of the appropriate care plan. Having clinical pathways embedded into the documentation workflow can flag physicians to ensure all options have been considered Documentation post-patient treatment eliminates all usage of the protective designs that have been built in the chart, making it absolutely essential that an electronic charting system be designed to allow real-time documentation.  Clinical pathways and reminders are of no value, because charts will often be deferred until patient care is complete.  Forerun’s FlexChart has tools to ensure that the chart are commenced early in patient care, making chart intelligence far more useful.

physician software3) Delays in ED Patient Throughput.

The way patients move through the ED has great financial implications for the rest of the hospital. Many hospitals are trying to address high volume in the ED by improving triage areas, redesigning their facilities, rotating the physicians on staff and separating ED patients for urgent or non-urgent care.

Most existing EMR "platforms" that hospitals have turned to in past years were not designed for emergency services and they actually have made ED doctors significantly less productive. ED Physicians are spending less time treating and seeing their patients and more time in front of screens, working in electronic charting applications with poor user interface – and not designed for optimal workflow.


Rather than being seen as a burden that inhibits patient care, the right ED charting software system can be a tool that optimizes patient care and quality documentation. For the full 5 Ways Your ED Documentation is Hurting your Hospital, download the whitepaper by clicking the button below.

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Topics: emergency room software, Electronic Charting, ED Charting Application