A number of physicians feel as if EMR adoption is being forced down their throats. However, the government’s stance on EMRs is comprehensively lucid. The increasing level of healthcare costs is a serious threat to the economy. Currently representing 17.3% of the total GDP, US healthcare costs outweigh all other nations by a huge margin. The problem is that despite the substantial investment in the healthcare industry, the results have not been evident. Most healthcare experts believe that this is mainly attributable to the prevalent fee for service culture in the care community.
EMRs focus on practice efficiency by eliminating errors through the ability to record and utilize patients health information, as a timeline. This not only reduces the accumulative medical costs but also enhances the care quality, by providing the physician with complete medical overview. The patient or the physicians may forget the dosage, but the EMR will not.
Many patients had been unable to reap the benefits of the growth of electronic medical records until the introduction of Patient Portals integrated within the system. Allowing better health management, the patient portal allows for an instantaneous connection between the physician and the patient.
EMRs have also induced the culture of evidence based practice, containing every detail in terms of the diagnosis along with the treatment pathway. The payers want to know what they are paying for and whether the procedure or tests undertaken were warranted and necessary. The EMR is like a document of evidence; in the event of the prescribed medical treatment resulting in patient dissatisfaction and legal proceedings, the EMR can be used to defend a physician’s actions.
Furthermore, the EMR not only enhances practice efficiency but forges a chain of quality care. The primary care physician can collaborate with the rendering specialist to form a consensus and devise an appropriate patient care plan. Similarly, referrals may be documented and patient care can be monitored along with real-time correspondence with labs and pharmacies.
The data mining ability of the EMR further enhances the capability of the practice to adapt to community related health issues and identifying epidemics. The EMR induces the culture of Accountable Care Organization by extending care delivery through the Patient Portal. Patients can log in to access their charts and tests; they can schedule appointments or request prescription refills, thereby paving the way for effective healthcare delivery.