From population health to alerts and ticklers, an EHR is a tool that allows pediatricians to track their community’s health and their practice’s efficiency. Charting templates are a common offering in modern EHRs, but do they really do the work pediatricians need them to? Today we explore the top reasons why charting templates “out of the box” just don't work for busy pediatricians, and why pediatric-specific templates make everyone’s lives easier.
If your EHR isn’t built for kids, it can’t perform for their unique health needs. This includes their individual milestones, growth, checks for important medications like those for ADHD, diet changes from breastmilk to solids, and social indicators like how a child copes with school and friendships.
PCC’s EHR is specific to pediatrics, so it includes measurement tools like percentiles of BP, percentiles for growth chart, and percentiles for BMIs so physicians can measure kids’ health efficiently.
No Growth Charts
Having to toggle from a growth chart to a patient’s chart is one more thing keeping you from face-to-face time with the child. Growth charts built into your EHR software are designed to save space and present you with the data easily.
Doesn’t Meet State Requirements for Newborn Screenings
You may need to report a child’s gender as ambiguous. You need to know whether the mother had a difficult pregnancy or is having trouble with latching. Most annoyingly, each state’s reporting requirements for newborns are different, and not all EHR templates will meet those standards straight out of the box. Charting mom and baby together will enable the best possible care for your newest patients and their families.
Doesn’t Document Immunizations Properly
Does your immunization record template work for neonates? For pre-teens? According to a 2015 publication by the AAP, “The ability to connect to immunization forecasting tools with reminders will improve the number of patients who receive immunizations.” Because kids need more series of vaccinations than adults, having this template organized to your practice’s needs will ensure organized, efficient records, and of course -- better care for patients.
Doesn’t Fit Your Practice
A new template system doesn’t know how your practice operates. Your staff will need to jump from place to place to achieve the same workflows and Bright Futures guidelines, wasting time and increasing frustration.
We asked one of PCC’s Client Advocates, Jim Smith, for details on how a template can be fit to each practice. Client Advocates work closely with practices to give them the tools they need to run their practice like they want to. “Templates are built to be very wordy so that all of the options are there at first,” Jim says, “But they’re not customized to your workflow yet. What’s good about our protocol is that we give you full control over the templates to what your practice needs. We guide you through the steps to customize your office’s workflow, from templates to visits.”
Aren’t Configured For Meaningful Use and PCMH
If your EHR can’t measure how you’re improving your processes, it will be difficult for your practice to achieve PCMH status.
Don’t Enable Population Health and Tracking
Jim also reminds pediatric practices that charting templates aren’t only about data entry, but the health of the child: “[Good] charting is getting kids in for visits when they need them and doing well visits when they’re due.” Efficient charting can allow follow up with families who need visits or allow the collection of population data.
Are your CPT codes mapped to your billing? If they aren’t, you could be coding for strep or flu, hearing and vision testing, or lab tests and only realize later that you’re not getting paid for those procedures.
Hard to Manage
When there are many options for templates to choose from, and many different staff needs, charts can quickly become disorganized and contain different information between patients. How can templates be made manageable for pediatricians and their staff? Jim says it’s not only adding the workflows and widgets you know you’ll use, but knowing when to delete the fields you don’t use. “With customization comes cleaning up the templates, knowing when to change and when to take things away. We have to be careful not to add too much fluff.”
You Need More Than Charting Software...
All of these annoyances make it difficult to process information correctly and efficiently, and can cause a lot of headache, frustration, and a whole lot of extra work. How can your templates work for you instead of the other way around? At PCC, we offer both the design and support to help you make the most of every minute.
PCC’s pediatric EHR is more than software -- it comes with the support and guidance to evolve with your practice as it grows, because our templates are fully customizable. “We give you full access to customized templates at will,” Jim explains, “Whenever you want to change them, at no extra cost.” This includes not only in-person training with PCC in your office, but a relationship between offices, PCC Support, and Client Advocates like Jim, who are always there to answer questions, propose solutions, and remind you when your charts need tidying up!
Jim has a final piece of advice for building an awesome charting template with PCC EHR: “You also have to be mindful as a pediatrician: are you building these templates for you or for other other staff or another pediatrician? Are you getting their input when you build these templates?” He says that when all staff have a say in creating workflows and templates, the templates work at their best.
Simple mistakes like not charting efficiently can cost your practice time and money. Are there other mistakes you could fix to improve your practice’s business?
Check out our ebook below for advice on the common mistakes of pediatric practices and how to solve them, so you can run a more efficient business that allows you to focus on what really matters.