Specialty EMR – Is it the future?

Over the past few years we witnessed lots of developments in the healthcare industry. Although EMRs have been around for as long as 40 years, but it was not until a decade ago that EMR adoption finally gained some momentum. Although the previous administration started laying the foundation for EHR adoption, President Obama made the drizzle into a torrid that swept the medical community off its feet! With the introduction of the American Recovery and Re-investment Act (ARRA) and the CMS incentives; providers, vendors and investors all jumped on the bandwagon of Electronic Medical Records.

However as they say partying hard makes your crash harder; providers started to realize the problem with going all in; although EMRs had come a long way both in features and usability, complete shift from paper to the detailed functionality of a modern EHR is quite overwhelming. Though established vendors realizing the situation did act to provide bewildered practitioners with somewhat customizable templates, a lot still felt hapless as they forcefully tried to shape their practice to adapt to its EMR or “the way of the EMR”.

However dark clouds must part! In this evolutionary age of technology and opportunity, vendors began to develop specialty EHRs; more advanced and focused templates to provide specialists with the right tools the very least. Specialty EMR’s provided much relief to specialist groups such as dermatologists (early targets) providing advanced specialty templates to allow quicker information entry and workflow, customization to enforce best practice guide lines and pre-defined data captures.

Specialty focused EMR has definitely helped in making workflow more targeted to everyday tasks and there yet be more to come as vendors continue to develop advanced applications to remain competitive in this cut throat market.