Sadly, when we convert to the new EMR system, there will be a period where everyone will be like a new patient in the system. Some information will port over from the old system, but the new system will have lots of blank spaces that need filling in. Some of this will enable better communication with you (notification preferences, for instance) and some of this will allow better care (electronic prescriptions!) and some of this is required by the government (more on that later).
All of this will require more time. We realize your time is valuable and no one likes paperwork, but we think the conversion, although sometimes painful, will ultimately lead to a better pediatric office for everyone. So, to help out, today I put one of the new registration forms on our website. It may speed things up if you print out the form and complete it before coming in. See the link below and look for EMR Registration Form: http://wallingfordpediatrics.com/forms.html
Additionally, it would be most helpful if patients could arrive a bit earlier for their appointments. Starting 4/7/2015, we would like to ask everyone to arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointment to allow for the new registration process. Truthfully, I expect everything will run a bit slower for a while as we accommodate to the new procedures. So try to be patient with us and allow a little extra time for you visit.
As for the government stuff, in addition to the usual HIPAA and consent forms, we will be required to ask patients about their racial or ethnic identification as part of this process. (I know. I know.) You do not have to answer these questions, but we will be required to ask. We realize that many patients will not like these questions, so please do not take it out on the front office staff. “Decline to Answer” is a perfectly good response as far as we are concerned. And, no, I don’t really know why they want us to do this. It’s just one of the rules.
More later as we move along. Happy Spring to All!