Electronic Charting Systems: “Good” vs. “Bad”

As a traveling healthcare professional, one of the most challenging things to get used to is all the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) floating around. There are so many electronic charting systems out there to make you feel like you need a minor in computer science to get everything figured out. What is maddening is that their ease-of-use is so variable. While there’s nothing we can do about the adoption of “good” or “bad” systems, we can educate ourselves on how to use them before starting at a new facility.

The Best Electronic Charting Systems

The most significant change in my travel nursing career, which spans 18 years, is the evolution from paper to electronic charting. Whether you’ve experienced old-school paper systems or current electronic systems, undeniably, technology is the winner.

Recently I polled hundreds of travel nurses in the “Travel Nursing Newbies” Facebook group to understand what electronic charting systems were their favorites – SPOILER ALERT, nearly 84% of respondents that voted for their favorite system selected Epic.

The BEST:

  1. Epic (617 votes)
  2. Cerner (87 votes)
  3. MediTech (27 votes)
  4. Soarian (4 votes)
  5. Matrix trailed (2 votes)

The Rest:

  1. MediTech (102 votes)
  2. Cerner (17 votes)
  3. Paragon (13 votes)
  4. Allscripts (6 votes)
  5. CPSI (5 votes)

Know Before You Go!

No matter what electronic charting system is used, it is imperative that you have an interview with the hospital unit manager to see what system they use on that unit – ideally before you start your shift.  Not only are there major systems for hospital-wide applications, but there are also speciality programs that are specifically for OR, ER, Clinics, and Home Health, etc.

After you find out what system is being used, research, research, research! If you have never worked with that program, I consult YouTube to review tutorials or ask the hospital if they have any educational materials they can share.  By planning ahead, you’ll can be ready for any computer system that lands in your lap.

Thanks to Kay Slane, RN, BS, CGM, CEO of Highway Hypodermics for contributing to the content of this post. The matriarch of travel nursing that helps you find the best assignments with the information from her websites.  For general information on travel healthcare, please visit www.HighwayHypodermics.com. For instructions on how to get started in travel healthcare visit www.TravelNursingNewbies.com.  If you just want to be a part of a super cool Facebook Group on getting your career started, come on over and chat!