Guaranteed EMR Benefits – Legibility of Charts

Posted on May 11, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There are some absolute guaranteed benefits to implementing an EMR. These aren’t things that some will get. These EMR benefits don’t come from the government. They aren’t based on some certification. They are just absolute benefits to implementing an EMR system.

The crazy part about these absolute benefits of an EMR system is that most of these absolute benefits to using an EMR just get quickly swept under the rug. They are easily forgotten and never get the credit they deserve (like a good medical biller). People just begin to take them for granted once they have them that they forget what it was like before the implemented an EMR.

For those who haven’t implemented an EMR, most of the absolute benefits aren’t financial and so they don’t even make it on your list of reasons to implement an EMR. Well, I’m here to give these EMR benefits the proper acknowledgment they deserve in a multi part series highlighting each of these benefits of a doctor going electronic.

First EMR benefit….*drum roll*…

Legibility of Charts

I know it’s a generalization that all doctors can’t write legibly. However, why do you think that it became a generalization? Possibly because generally it’s true. The crazy thing is that this is going to get progressively worse. The next generation of clinical providers have used the computer so much, they don’t even know what the term penmanship is. I’m willing to admit that I don’t even really know how to write in cursive anymore (outside of signing my name).

Needless to say, being able to read what’s been written in a patient chart is extremely valuable. This becomes even more true when we’re talking about information sent through those high quality (sarcasm) fax machines in every doctors office. The legibility found on typed documents that are faxed is so much better. Of course, I don’t even really need to step out of the office to see the benefits of a nicely typed, legible note. The doctor reading the nurse note is more accurate. The doctor reading past notes is more accurate. In a group practice, the doctor reading other doctors’ notes. The list goes on and on.

Legibility of EMR notes is valuable. Difficult to measure, but incredibly valuable. Don’t discount this benefit of an EMR.