I often hear from health organizations that they’re not getting everything they imagined out of their electronic medical records system (EMR). They’ve put a lot of time and money into implementing it and among other things they were hoping their EMR would significantly improve productivity. But because some of the workflows and processes in EMRs aren’t always the easiest to use, that’s not happening as fast as they hoped.
The good news is that providing staff with familiar Microsoft Office tools to use in conjunction with an EMR can help health organizations address this challenge and get more value from their EMR investment. With Microsoft Office tools integrated into their EMR, they can realize significant productivity gains by enabling health professionals to:
Seamlessly communicate and collaborate from the EMR. Let’s say a clinician is looking at a patient record and has a question about a patient’s condition. Using Microsoft Lync from within the EMR, the clinician can initiate an instant messaging or voice/video chat with a colleague, and even share a desktop. When the conversation is over, it’s automatically archived as part of the EMR record. Being able to communicate in real-time to get an update or to consult on a patient, without interrupting their workflow, can significantly increase clinicians’ productivity.
Quickly generate a patient form from the EMR. I’ve heard from many customers that even though they’re capturing and processing patient information electronically using their EMR, there are still regulations in their country that require a paper record in certain instances. Using Microsoft Word from within the EMR, staff can efficiently generate the right form in the right format to meet those regulations. Easily run analytics reports out of the EMR. Many health professionals already know how to use Microsoft Excel. Being able to use it from within their EMR means they can quickly generate the reports they need from the system, rather than having to learn a new reporting tool. With Microsoft Excel, they can also use self-service tools to analyze the data in their EMR—and bring it together with data from other systems—to do research on demand and gain insight to help them improve efficiency and care.
It’s exciting to see how our partners are taking advantage of the extensibility of Microsoft Office to facilitate scenarios such as the ones I just described. One great example is longtime Microsoft partner ChipSoft, which offers an EMR system with embedded Microsoft Office tools such as Microsoft Lync. Learn more by watching this video about its solutions.
No matter what stage of deployment a health organization is in, bringing its EMR together with familiar Microsoft Office tools can help the organization make a real impact on productivity and get the fastest and greatest return on its EMR investment.
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