Let me ask you a simple question. How do you propose to provide the next level of care without implementing technology to support it? EMR is an innovative tool for our healthcare system. The paper file system has run its due course. We have already perfected it to the point where there are no further improvements to be made and no further benefits to be derived. The increased economic pressures have driven us to a corner.
If situations necessitate change then this would be the time. EMR is transforming the healthcare industry and it is not just about record keeping anymore. The EMR not only overcomes the inherent limitations of traditional record keeping but offers unique possibilities of health data utilization. The data mining capabilities can add new dimensions to healthcare delivery along with medical research and analysis. Physicians can not only improve the care quality through personalization but can determine how to utilize resources better and accommodate certain situations, including but not limited to disease outbreaks.
Physicians are slowly realizing the opportunities that could arise from shifting to interoperable EHRs. With the new age of healthcare knocking on the door, they must adopt or risk becoming obsolete. A general health physician explained how he chose to adopt EMR simply because most of his patients started to ask for their records and test results online. “I had this lady come in with her grandson and she wanted me to provide her with an online health record along with access to the lab results. She explained how her grandson helps her look it up on the computer which saves her a phone call and sometimes even a trip. I just had to do it.”, explains the Florida based physician.
EMR is the first step towards establishing Accountable Care Organizations. The government is trying to replace the “fee for service method” with performance related compensation that supports evidence based practice. With a dedicated fund for healthcare reform, the government plans to eradicate inefficiencies that have rooted deep inside the heart of the healthcare industry. EMR systems are the answer for majority of the problems faced by physicians today. It effectively creates bridges within the care continuum, from physicians to pharmacies, labs, hospitals and to the patients themselves, ensuring clinical collaboration of the future.