Let’s start with an obvious but often overlooked basic question: what is the difference between an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and an Electronic Health Record (EHR)? The terms are often used interchangeably, but they vary greatly. These days you’ll hear EHRs being referenced far more frequently, but here’s the difference:
An EMR is a digital version of a chart with patient information, or everything you’d find in a paper chart (medical history, diagnosis, medications, immunization dates, allergies).
An EHR is a digital record of health information, and is built to go beyond the standard clinical data, e.g., a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, imaging, lab results and other medical information. An EHR allows all providers across practices and healthcare organizations to access patient health information.
In 2019, 96% of hospitals have adopted EHRs, per a report from Kaiser Health News. Not everyone loves EHRs though. They were supposed to make medicine safer, empower patients, allow for higher-quality care, and even save money, but many physicians and advanced practitioners say EHRs require them to spend too much time typing and trying to navigate the technology – taking away from the time they spend with patients.
The good news is there are a lot of advantages to EHRs. They make it easier for allowing the various members of a patient’s care team to coordinate with each other, and they provide patient portals where patients can take a more active role in managing their health. EHRs have also reduced inefficiencies in care management (per HealthIT.gov) and, from a clinical recruiting standpoint, EHRs can be used in a number of ways to support your recruitment efforts.
Effective use, familiarity, and comfort using a specific EHR can go a long way in matching the right doctor to your opportunities.
There are countless EHR systems in place across the U.S. Knowledge of specific EHRs is a skill candidates should make known on their CVs – and it’s something physician recruiters should look for as well. Doximity member physicians have the option to list their EHR experience within their digital CV. So, if you’re using Doximity Talent Finder to discover physician candidates with specific EHR experience, you can search by vendor names or keywords (e.g., “Epic” or “Cerner”).
A facility’s EHR system can be a big draw for finding the right medical talent, too.
Doctors may complain about EHRs, but a lot of them believe grinding out paperwork was far worse without the technology. What’s more, a new generation of millennial doctors has entered the clinical workforce. They’re digital natives who grew up with technology, and the very idea of connectivity on the job shapes their mindset.
You might not think that the tools a physician uses currently or has used in the past will be a major factor in accepting a job, but as Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. of 33 Charts, says, “the clinical tools that surround us go a long way in determining our quality of life. So, the EHR is likely to shape how we view a position. I’m working on my second EHR system in a decade and my day-to-day life is very different.”
Want more tips for recruiting great physicians? Check out our blog 10 Tips from Seasons Physician Recruiters.