Tag Archives: ieMR

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Car vs Bike Wounds: even an illustration that completely lacks artistic merit can convey a lot of information more effectively than a page full of text.

Gingerbread Person Pic “Car vs Bike Wounds”. Even an illustration that completely lacks artistic merit can convey a lot of information more effectively than a page full of text.

This week at work we have been discussing the roll-out of the ieMR (integrated electronic Medical Record). At present it is not integrated with the existing mental health system (CIMHA: Consumer Integrated Mental Health Application), the existing emergency department system (EDIS: Emergency Department Information System) or the existing intensive care unit system (CIS: Clinical Information System). Let’s not be too distracted by that though – apparently there is an integration team beavering away in a back room somewhere: they’re teaching these hospital systems to talk to each other. Once that’s sorted-out the ieMR will be the best thing since bung fritz.

A hospital file diagram such as this can assist in conveying an understanding of the patient's experience.

A hospital file diagram such as this can assist in conveying an understanding of the patient’s experience.

A different thought crossed my mind though – will the ieMR make the bad art of gingerbread women/men, genograms and other diagrams obsolete?

I hope not – even my hastily drawn-on-an-envelope examples used on Twitter during the week and in this post convey meaning quickly and easily (hopefully). Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for typing words into a digital archive (in fact, I’m doing it right now!), but there are times where it is clearer to communicate with an illustration. I hope this is not lost as we transition to an electronic medical record.

The patient is the expert. The clinician asks them about their family and draws a genogram to organise information. Sometimes genograms explain a lot.

The patient is the expert. The clinician asks them about their family and draws a genogram to organise information. Sometimes genograms explain a lot.

Does your hospital/health agency have an electronic record that easily allows illustrations still? If so (or not) I would be grateful to hear from you in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 21st September 2013