eCare Innovation – From 5 Minutes to 5 Seconds
Imagine you’re sitting in your office with about 50 eCare plans to enter before the end of the day, or even worse, imagine you’re out in workflow with about 50 eCare plans to enter before the end of the day. You might have had some practice entering in a couple hundred eCare plans so now it takes only 2 minutes to complete one, or you might be completely new to eCare plans and it takes you 15 minutes to complete one. Either way, entering eCare plans takes a LONG time, time that is very precious to us in the world of pharmacy, but what if I told you that there was a method to enter in an eCare plan in 5 seconds?
A while ago, I was faced with the same scenario. At Boscobel Pharmacy, we have a couple dozen eCare plans to enter in manually on a weekly basis, most of them being new medsync starts as we have been starting patients on medsync like crazy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, it took me about 2 minutes to enter in a simple eCare plan for a new medsync start. This meant I still needed to spend around 2 hours each week solely dedicated to eCare plan entry. I consider myself pretty quick at doing this, but consider a pharmacist who needs to take 5-15 minutes to complete an eCare plan and multiply that by however many pharmacists are currently entering eCare plans in the state of Wisconsin and that adds up to a LOT of time. This time commitment is something that we in the Flip the Pharmacy program have struggled with since the beginning of the program and the beginning of eCare plan entry. There have been ideas tossed around to make the documentation process more streamlined like prefilled templates in the pharmacy software or using paper and electronic templates to reference during documentation. The problem is that we currently do not have prefilled templates in our pharmacy software systems and that using paper and electronic templates as references still requires us to spend a couple of minutes to manually enter in the eCare plan.
To get around these barriers, I downloaded a free program called MacroRecorder. The program allows the user to create macros by recording their onscreen mouse movements, mouse clicks, and keyboard strokes and allows the user to play back the recording at over ten times the speed of the original recording. This meant that when I created a macro by recording myself completing an eCare plan in 2 minutes, I was able to play back the macro and perform all the same mouse movements, mouse clicks, and keyboard strokes at over ten times the speed. This has effectively reduced the amount of time required for me to enter in a single eCare plan from 2 minutes down to 5 seconds. Since I began using this program, I have created macros to complete eCare plans for new medsync starts, opioid PDMP checks, blood pressure measurements, antibiotic callbacks, and even a few personal macros for running and printing daily reports. Again, all of these functions now only take me 5 seconds each to perform. What’s even better is that the macros can be saved as files that can be opened up and used by anyone, whether it is another pharmacist, or pharmacy technician, or student, anyone can use macros and complete eCare plans in 5 seconds.
I believe at least until we receive eCare template functionality in our pharmacy softwares, the use of macros can greatly improve our efficiency in improving our patient care and documentation. Please feel free to reach out to me at Boscobel Pharmacy if you would like to learn more about the macro or would like to see a demonstration.
University of Wisconsin PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Resident, Boscobel Pharmacy