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CloudView blog

Ideas and insights to help health care providers stay informed and profitable in today's challenging health care environment.

With Epocrates Inside My EMR I Can Leave the Juggling to the Clowns

by Mamle Anim, MD, FACP

Earlier this year, we announced the integration of Epocrates, the #1 medical reference app, into athenaClinicals, our Best in KLAS EMR.

What really excites us about bringing Epocrates clinical intelligence into the athenahealth workflow is the opportunity to improve clinicians’ day, to make it more convenient for caregivers to access the information they need. And what better way to learn how clinicians are reacting to the update than to ask those actually using it in the prescribing moment.

Here’s some of a discussion I had with Dr. Mamle Anim, a physician practicing internal medicine at Wright State Physicians in Dayton, OH, and an Epocrates and athenaClinicals user. — Michelle Mangino, Social Media Manager

Question: Tell me about your experience with Epocrates and the clinical content it offers.

Dr. Anim: I’ve been using Epocrates basically since it made its debut on the iTunes Store, and the usability and accessibility of information has certainly improved leaps and bounds since that time. I find that the setup is very intuitive, the layout is logical; it takes less than 30 seconds to find a drug and look up what you need. I also like the fact that everything is clearly labeled so you can find what you need without having to sift through paragraphs of text. I especially love the reviews — they are concise, to the point and clinically relevant. The sort of information you need at the point of care!

Question: What was your workflow like before Epocrates’ drug monographs were integrated into your EMR?

Dr. Anim: Before the integration, I found myself either pulling out my phone (if I had it on me) to look up a drug or going to another website, juggling multiple screens to get the information I needed when prescribing. Sometimes I would have to step out of the room to get the information if the search took too long, or I’d look later, after the patient had left. This would inevitably increase my documentation time.

Now, all I do is click on the Epocrates icon within the EMR, search for the drug I need, and I’m done! It’s really that easy.

Question: From your first-hand experience, what have been the advantages of this integration?

Dr. Anim: Apart from having the information at the tips of your fingers, it improves patient care and patient safety. Alerts are fired for interactions, warnings, contraindications, etc. The one-stop shopping concept is phenomenal!

I really believe this is the future of the EMR experience. I love seeing that Epocrates icon because I know that if I have questions about which test to order, or wonder if I should be considering other differentials, or need to verify my treatment plan, it’s all right there! In future integrations, I’d love to see more review articles or overviews on diseases embedded into the EMR.

Dr. Anim is an athenahealth client and an internal medicine physician in Dayton, Ohio.

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