First, I sympathize.....About five years ago, my coding staff and I were force-fed a practice management system/EMR that we had no input in selecting. In fact, the rumor at the time was that this magnificent piece of technology would soon put the coders out on the street.
At the time, I decided that if I wanted to retain my job (and thanks to children and a mortgage, I absolutely did), I would have to jump on this EMR bandwagon. So, I made it my business to assist our facility in making sure that our software was easy-to-use as well as compliant.
Although I sympathize with you, I'm going to go out on a limb here and tell you to put your big girl (or boy) pants on and show your providers what you are made of. You're right...an EMR gives you canned, impersonal documentation. But you can make this a golden opportunity for yourself. Start with implementing an small internal audit of a handful of medical records. Point out areas of opportunity (improvement), and areas that could be compliance concerns--and back up your suggestions with regulatory guidance. You don't want to provide just your opinion, because of course it will look like you're simply upset about the change in status quo. Then make sure you present a reasonable solution to the concerns you've brought up. Offer to help with education, template development, or workflow improvement. Learn that EMR program inside and out, and how to work behind the scenes to make customizations that will improve the software. Become a team player, and avoid ranting and complaining, because EMRs are here to stay, and if you want to remain employed, you're going to have to learn to love it.
Medicare is not forcing us to do anything.....remember, providers do not have to contract with Medicare....so it's a choice that your practice has made. Did they consult you, or think about coding/compliance/documentation when they chose software? Apparently not, but don't let that bother you. Make this an opportunity to use your coding knowledge to help them tweak this software. No EMR is useless....it simply needs some adjustments and customization, and you can be the hero here, if you simply re-think your approach.
Did our EMR put the coders out on the street? nope....we've tripled our coding staff, and most of them work as auditors/educators, with a much bigger salary than your average staff coder. The EMR was the best thing that ever happened to us.
Pam Brooks, MHA, CPC, PCS, COC
Dover, NH 03820
If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney