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Rural Doctor Resurrects Health Clinic, Embraces EHR

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, November 11, 2010

With the technology, the practice continues to evolve, and she continues to administrate the constant flow of care and need, Brooks says. The electronic records help in so many ways, big and small, she says. "My handwriting is small and my nurse scrawls.  She no longer has to constantly ask her associates, "What did you say?'

"I don't want a barrier between me and my patients," she says.

More than 21,000 patients are listed in her fairly new database. "We try to set up projects with the hospital and get a discount when they order a CAT scan or something," she says. "I see Medicaid patients after they have gone to their own doctor for their 12 visits and use (the payments) up."

The local hospital doesn't have electronic medical records, but is heading in that direction soon, and she's happy for that. "They didn't have a yardstick to measure performance," Brooks says of hospital officials. "I'd invite them over and show them stuff (on her computer)." She's involved in a local task force to encourage healthcare workers to be knowledgeable about electronic medical records.

Learning the new electronic programs isn't easy, she says. "My personal transition has been pretty time consuming, but it's worth it," Brooks says.

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