Two EHR Monitors Better Than One

Physicians using electronic health records (EHRs) may consider using two computer monitors. It's an inexpensive way to enhance the workflow and allow viewing of multiple EHR pages or documents from other sources. Time is of the essence during a patient visit, and EHRs may negatively affect productivity. The second monitor may help physicians during patient visits.

Consider the second screen for ease of viewing:

  • Immunization data from ImmTrac,
  • Patient information from the local health information exchange,
  • Consultant's note(s) about the patient,
  • Recent lab results via the lab portal, and
  • Health information on a website. 

A second monitor would range in cost from about $150 to $400, depending on size and resolution. Most new computers have ports to accommodate multiple screens; if not, a simple splitter will suffice. While a second screen may seem overwhelming initially, many users quickly adjust and appreciate the ability to multitask efficiently. 

Physicians needing assistance with EHRs may consider using one of the four Texas regional extension centers (RECs). Details about the program are available in the TMA REC Resource Center.  

Action, Aug. 1, 2013