5 Tips for the Epic EMR

Navigating an EMR can be challenging, especially for a new scribe. With a fair amount of training and lots of practice, mastering your EMR is entirely possible and will not only make scribing a breeze, it will also help you throughout your healthcare career. Below are 5 tips to help use the Epic EMR to its fullest potential from an experience Chief Scribe!

  1. Use wild cards (***)

I consider wild cards (***) to be my best friend during each shift. They allow me to remind myself of any information I might be missing. If I can’t remember what I need to do next, I hit the F2 function on my keyboard and my wild card will pop-up and remind me of everything I need to do, like remind the physician to perform certain tasks in a patient’s chart.

  1. Remember drop-down menu color functions

A lot of people don’t realize that each color in the drop-down menu serves a different task, so if you aren’t careful you can easily make a mistake. For example, the blue highlighted color means that you are able to select more than one option and you can use your space bar to select (or deselect) different information that you want in the chart. The yellow highlighted color indicates that you can only select one option.

  1. Create dot(.) phrases

There are certain phrases that you frequently use. If you go into the smart phrase menu, you can make “.” phrases so that you don’t have to type out the phrase every time. After you’ve created your “.” phrases with whatever abbreviation you choose, you can type “.” and the abbreviation you chose and the entire phrase will pop-up in the chart. Using dot phrases can be a huge time saver!

Pro Tip: Dot phrases can be a great way to save time and get charts completed more efficiently, but make sure to customize each chart depending on the unique circumstances of each patient encounter. Most hospitals and physician groups frown on “boiler plate charts” that all look the same, so be sure to write out all of the specifics. In other words, use dot phrases as a supplement only and not in the place of written case specifics.

  1. Open multiple windows

While you’re working on a chart, you can open another window next to it so that you are able to view the patient’s most recent emergency room visit. Opening this window next to your chart allows you to view previous notes and use the information for the current chart. I find this really helpful, because I don’t have to keep exiting out of the chart as I pull information from old charts.

  1. Right-click on words

If I’m unsure if a word I entered is spelled correctly, I always right-click on it so that spell check will pop-up. This is very helpful for long medical terms and conditions.