Patient care is multifaceted, with varying factors that impact the quality, timeliness and effectiveness of its delivery. Through the Electronic Medical Records Committee (EMR), the Vancouver Division is involved in many projects aimed to help enhance the patient journey.
The committee's work focuses on doctor to doctor communication, acute to community communication, and sharing of pertinent patient information among practitioners. Our focus is to improve the quality of patient care and the clinic experience for both patients and doctors through the proper use of EMRs by addressing the adoption, use and interoperability of EMRs in Vancouver.
For doctors, EMRs can be powerful and efficient tools. They can enhance communications between patient care providers; improve chronic disease management and health promotion activities; improve office efficiency and sustainability; increase practice quality improvement opportunities; and raise overall patient safety and satisfaction.
The EMR Committee developed a multi-vendor Community of Practice that is open to all Division members. Its goals are to:
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) User Groups
The EMR User groups are a small group of Vancouver Division of Family Practice (VDoFP) members who learn and share their knowledge and experience of best practices using their specific EMRs. Through the User Groups, the physicians teach each other how to reliably and consistently enter and record data, use the tools and features found in the EMRs and solve problems. This supports best practices and improves workflow to provide better health care. There are four EMR User Groups established:
I’ve never heard of user groups. What are they?
The EMR User groups are small groups of physicians focused on learning how best to use their EMR. Created and supported by Division of Family Practice and PSP, they are meant to improve the skill level and understanding of the EMR user. The User groups are about the technology, but also about the relationships that result.
What benefits do user groups offer?
User groups help members utilize their EMRs with better functionality and understanding. With the knowledge gained, the members learn how to input and retrieve data in a logical and consistent manner that will eventually lead to the goal of interoperability and sharing of significant amounts of data and patient information with other physicians (specialists) and health authority databases (hospitals, nursing homes, nurses, PT, OT, and other allied health professionals). Questions raised at the sessions vary from technical issues and advice to efficiency and workflow to hardware and peripherals. It provides a friendly environment where people can learn from each other and where no question is too basic or simple.
What happens at user group meetings?
Meetings vary depending on the group and the evening. Many meetings will feature presenters from the EMR vendor. Group members also often present — either about EMR technology or about an individual topic of interest. Most meetings include time for question and answer sessions as well as some social and networking activities. You can ask any question about your EMR system, easy or difficult, and get an answer from a knowledgeable fellow physician.
What else do user groups do?
User groups sometimes support special events — training days, EMR shows, and more. User Group leads and physician peer mentors may will visit other locations, organizations, or events in the community such as clinics, focus groups, or vendor seminars to support the learning and usage of EMR systems.
How are user groups organized?
User groups are independent groups run by local volunteer EMR physician enthusiasts. DoFP promotes and supports user groups. They are not organized into a formal hierarchy; each operates independently with guidance from the DoFP IT Committee who provide curriculum development and operational and financial support to run these sessions.
Why should I join a user group?
Joining gives you full access to all the benefits a group offers. You can look for personalized advice, attend regular meetings, and find a welcoming atmosphere. You’ll feel connected to the many other EMR users in your community. Provide input for topics of interest for future meetings.
What does it cost to join?
EMR User Groups are FREE to DoFP members. We encourage non-physician members to attend as well.
Where can I get more information about user groups in my area?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Vancouver DoFP Tel 604-569-2010 (Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 5:00 pm).
How do I give user groups a try?
Email email@example.com or call the VDoFP 604-569-2010 to get more information. Find out when the group meets and visit one of their monthly meetings. This is an excellent way to get to know the group. Introduce yourself to one of the group leaders and explain what you’re looking for. Chances are, they’ll know just where to find it.
I can’t attend meetings. Can user groups still help me?
Yes. Even if you don’t attend regular meetings, EMR user groups offer a variety of non-meeting resources which you’ll find beneficial. Information in Dropbox, specialized EMR help. Physician peer mentors can come to your local practice and provide support customized to your needs.
I’m having trouble finding a user group in my area. Can you help?If you have difficulty finding a group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
8:30am - 4:30pm PST