EMR – Modernizing Healthcare

Electronic Medical Records or EMR is one of the hot topics of discussion within the healthcare industry. Like many industries, information technology has also influenced the healthcare sector. Today, it would not be absurd to assert that technology aids the doctors to save lives along with streamlining their clinical operations.

According to a research, U.S physicians are replacing their conventional documentation methods with EMRs. Having realized the accuracy, efficiency, and quality of documentation with EMRs, hospitals and various medical laboratories are trying to replace paper with computers..Recent development in EMR solutions has meant that “going paperless” is now one of the least important benefits of this technology. Collaborative care management, built-in interaction checks, audit trails and health maintenance alerts have addressed the need of the hour and helped physicians provide better quality care to their patients.

If these advantages weren’t alluring enough, the government’s promotion of EMR(s) certainly helps raise physician interest. Yes, I am talking about the financial incentives associated with the adoption of an EMR. With more than $14.4 billion already provided to over 76000 physicians, it is high time to realize that an EMR has become an asset for physicians. After all, having an opportunity to earn thousands of dollars by merely complying with specific standards aimed at raising quality and awareness is not a bad deal for healthcare professionals. Is it?

I am certain that looking at an EMR as an investment opportunity is not an understatement. The financial incentives accompanied with reduced cost of paper, and elimination of administrative hassle make EMR one of the finest investment instruments for healthcare providers.

However, implementation of EMR is a tedious job because many physicians are edgy when making this technological commitment or they are simply unaware of the benefits of adoption.

However, Regional Extension Centers and a few EMR vendors have done a decent job of helping providers evaluate the various options at their disposal along with their pros and cons. RECs are government funded bodies whereas, EMR vendors are trying to offer more in order to remain competitive in the market. Many established EMR vendors are now offering FREE consultation, assessment and demonstrations to help providers feel more comfortable.

There are always going to be those that support the promotion and adoption of EMR technology whereas, there is no shortage of those that find such technological advancements futile and feel that technology depersonalizes the patient – physician relationship. But let’s look at the brighter side of the picture. The benefits of using an EMR, for both the physician and the patient; outweigh the costs of switching to this new automated system.

Physicians who are willing to spend thousands of dollars on these EMRs would be satisfied knowing that an EMR not only saves the time required to document a clinical encounter but also reduces the hassle of paperwork. It allows for utmost accuracy and un-aging documentation. Of course, one cannot forget about the preventive care features helping in reducing fatal drug interactions. With an EMR, patient safety becomes inevitable. A patient is another side of the same coin, and fortunately these solutions make life easier for the patients too. After all, a secure online link between a physician and their patient would not have been possible without EMR systems. As a proponent of this technology, I am certain that EMRs are on the rise and with the passage of time they would provide the healthcare industry with unlimited possibilities.



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