My practice has been using the EPIC electronic medical record for 5 years now, and it’s taken about that long for me to figure out how to tweak the system to make myself more efficient, and for the system to evolve to a place where I could tweak it myself.
Case in point – Quick Actions.
EPIC’s most recent upgrade includes little self-made macros called “quick actions” that turn repetitive tasks into a mouse click. I’m using quick actions to manage my results in basket in much the same way you may be using Rules in Outlook to manage your email.
Some of my macros are actually little work-arounds for a system that is not yet entirely integrated and a patient population that has not yet embraced online results communication. About half of my patients sign up for online results – I’m working hard on the rest…
Like many of you, I like a clean inbox, but need a place to park messages that are awaiting some future task for completion. I’ve decided to use the “results notes” inbasket for this purpose, so you’ll see some of my macros moving messages there.
I now have the following Quick Action options whenever I view a lab report –
- Normal Pap – creates a standardized normal pap letter, sends it to my secretary to print out and mail and inserts a little addendum note to the encounter that results were sent.
- Left message – After I’ve called and failed to reach a patient about a lab result, adds “left message ” addendum to the patient’s visit note and moves lab result to my results note in-basket, where it will sit till she calls me back (or I call her again, don’t get me started on the phone tag game…).
- My Chart – Inserts a little note into the patients EMR that her results were released to her via My Chart – an online patient communication system that sort of lives outside my EMR with incomplete integration, so I put that little note in so I know I communicated results to her. It’s faster than searching through the My Chart inbasket later.
- Hold for HPV – Moves mildly abnormal pap results into my results notes inbox where it will wait for the HPV result, which comes a few days later.
- Failed mammo – creates a reminder letter to patients who have failed to get their mammogram, the order for which is sitting in my “overdue results” basket, and sends the letter to my secretary to mail it. I then delete the overdue message from my inbasket.
Any other EPIC users out there have Quick Action macros that are working well for them? If so, feel free share them with us in the comments section .