What does EMR mean?
Electronic Medical Records (EMR’s) are digital records that contain information about patients, treatment, diagnoses, etc. Every piece of data that is traditionally logged on paper is entered into an electronic database that is built on industry-level software. This information includes data about the patients themselves, measurements taken, treatment given, results, changes, etc. The EMR system:
- is more searchable than its paper counterpart
- allows doctors to track patients’ health over time
- integrates smoothly into the global health care system
Using electronic medical records affords you, as a medical practitioner, all the clinical solutions at your disposal. The medical community relies on detailed records and for those records to be accessible to both doctors and management personnel. As a practitioner, you are able to get a clearer view on which pharmaceutical drugs that you’ve prescribed have actually had an effect on your patients, and compare them to doctors from around the world.
To keep up with global trends, you will want to stay informed on trends that your own patients are going through. This could be related to their vital statistics, immunization plans, visit schedules, self-reported symptoms over time, and much more.
One study in the American Journal of Medicine estimated the financial advantages of implementing EMR’s:
The estimated net benefit from using an electronic medical record for a 5-year period was $86,400 per provider. Benefits accrue primarily from savings in drug expenditures, improved utilization of radiology tests, better capture of charges, and decreased billing errors. Implementation of an electronic medical record system in primary care can result in a positive financial return on investment to the health care organization.
Despite the many benefits that the EMR provides to care providers and medical management personnel, it has not as of yet been implemented on a grand scale. The Digital Healthcare Research Guide noted the following:
Widespread adoption of EMRs in the United States is low; a recent survey indicated that only 4 percent of ambulatory physicians reported having an extensive, fully functional electronic records system and 13 percent reported having a basic system
There is much speculation as to why the EMR system has failed to take off to this point. However, its efficacy and usefulness for primary and secondary care providers is not one of them. And most experts agree that in the future, electronic medical records will only become more popular.
EMR’s come in many templates, depending on the type of data you want to enter. Are you logging test results? Blood pressure logs? A schedule of prescribed medication juxtaposed with reported sickness over time? The software is replete with templates for your convenience, maximum productivity and, ideally, optimal health for your patients.
So, are you ready to embrace the EMR system? It could make all the difference in the world. Whether that means better care provided to your patients, more time off, better communication with doctors are the globe or just less strain on your writing hand, the opportunity is there for the taking! Ask your hospital or clinic if they are ready to implement a versatile EMR system today and get ready to take your medical career to the next level!