Emory Bryan, News On 6
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -- A Muskogee Children's Clinic is changing over to electronic medical records with the help of your tax dollars.
The clinic was one of the early adopters of the technology because there was a stimulus plan incentive to get it done before the end of last year.
Whenever Dr. Tracy Hoos examines a patient, he plugs all the information into a laptop. His young patients are among some of the first to have all their medical records in an electronic database.
"We're in the process, once we convert them, we try to scan all their records in, and we will have our first completely electronic generation this year," he said.
Dr. Hoos only uses electronic records. He believes it's faster and improves patient care.
For example, right from the exam room, he can send a prescription to a pharmacy and instantly know if it's stock. And there's no guessing on trying to read his writing.
"We do an e-prescribe where we send a prescription electronically, directly to a pharmacy, so the chance of an error, a penmanship error, is reduced greatly," he said.
The Children's Clinic of Muskogee changed over to electronic records five months ago. Already, half of their old paper files have been scanned in, and whenever a patient has an appointment, their records are changed over.
"I'm the new kid on the block as far as computers; I never turned one on until we decided to go electronic," Dr. D.I. Wilkinson said.
Dr. Wilkinson isn't yet sold on the benefits of the electronic system, because for him, it's slower. When he sees a patient, he sometimes leaves the laptop on his desk.
"The system costs us about $135,000 for five doctors and this will pay for it, but the problem is that it slows you down so much, you can see a whole lot fewer patients," he said.
But even he recognizes the potential for electronic systems helping modernize medical care. He believes within a year, even he will be totally electronic, leading the way for doctors everywhere.