June 2021
Electronic Health Records (EHR) - Ensuring the Clients Voice is Present

EHR pictureThis month’s newsletter is focused on Electronic Health Records (EHR) and the COPM. The EHR is a digital record of client health information which allows the sharing of updated, real-time health information on each client. It permits secure and easily available client health data that enables therapists to know the health services their client is receiving. It is an opportunity to securely communicate electronically with your clients, other therapists, doctors, or insurers. In this time of Covid-19 restrictions, your clients can access their information and data. An EHR ensures that information is in one place and that the health care team members and client have access to it.

An example of how an EHR works for the client?
Two years ago, I had arranged to go into hospital to have a simple ‘bit’ of routine surgery.  In one day and home the next day was the plan.  Well, the best laid plans often do not happen. I ended up in the hospital for six weeks followed by four weeks of rehabilitation and three months of home care. Fortunately, even though every health professional (surgeons, dieticians, nurses, and psychiatry) was diligent in keeping me informed, I remembered very little of most of my hospital experience once I was discharged.

I was lucky because the hospital system used an EHR system to collate my health information. Once I joined as a client, I accessed the notes detailing my surgeries, my various medications, and tests as well as discharge summaries. Irrespective of my ‘blanked’ memory, I was able to discover what had happened to me. This was important to me. I could answer my family’s questions. My family doctor was also sent the data so he could monitor me when I got home. Furthermore, I was able to articulate my ‘case’ to all the other health care professionals that were in my life once I was discharged home.

I often thought though, after the umpteenth time I repeated why I was having difficulties doing everyday activities, that it would have been very useful to have some COPM measures in my file. I do know that I would have felt more in control of my ‘new’ life.  At least one COPM measure on my file would have ensured that my voice was heard and sustained during my long ‘visit’. Today, I can still access my information and if it had an initial COPM, I would have a record of how far I have come in the past two years. I wish that the COPM were part of my health record – I would think that as a therapist you would wish the same for you and your clients. Consider advocating for having the COPM in your institution’s EHR!

If you are interested in having your clients’ COPMs entered into the EHR of your workplace, ask about whether the COPM could be part of the health records so that so that your clients voices are heard and sustained. The COPM is a valid and reliable measure for determining a client’s intervention goals and for managing your practice efficiently. The COPM Inc. can negotiate a license with your workplace to build the COPM measure into your EHR. All it takes is your interest. Contact the COPM for further information.

You can purchase the English version of the manual and measure in digital PDF and paper formats. The French version of the manual and measure are available in digital PDF format.

Purchase the COPM

© 2021 COPM Inc.

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Dundas, ON L9H 1X9


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