An electronic medical record is the structured networked collection of population and patient information that is electronically stored in a data format. These records are shared across various health care institutions. This electronic medical records system has various benefits over traditional paper-based systems. The most prominent advantage is the reduction in the chances of data corruption due to electronic data. EMR allows for patient specific and sensitive data to be accessed immediately.
However, there are several disadvantages of EMR compared to paper-based systems. The most important disadvantage is the possibility of data losses due to transmission errors. Electronic medical records systems have been known to cause data loss occasionally, especially when records are stored in multiple locations. Apart from this, patient records stored on electronic record systems may not be accurate and complete due to inconsistent coding.
Even though all EMR software systems keep detailed information about every detail, they still fail to perform a very important job – to keep track of the patient’s history. In case of traditional paper records, doctors and hospitals had to use the index cards that provided the details of each patient. However, these cards were prone to errors as well as human error. If the doctor relied on the index card and if something did go wrong, then it would be difficult for him to recall the complete information.
A better method to store patient information is through the use of electronic charts. Electronic charts are basically a graphical representation of medical information. They are useful for doctors and other health care practitioners to easily navigate through various health issues. Electronic medical charts are not only easy to understand, but they also provide a quick reference to physicians. Many physicians have reported that using electronic charts has reduced their workload by several hundred hours annually. Since all data is stored electronically, physicians can look at past patient medical histories in the charts to understand how a specific disease has progressed.
In addition to providing easy accessibility to medical data, electronic medical records also offer a more convenient way to transfer treatments. In the past, physicians had to follow all legal requirements regarding patient rights to see their patients. With the advent of paper charts, this process became tedious. In addition, some people claimed that they felt physically intimidated by the presence of a person in the room who was technically responsible for their care. Today, thanks to digital versions of medical notes, all treatment histories are easily accessible online.
EMR software programs are usually integrated with healthcare team systems. This integration offers several advantages. First, electronic medical records eliminate the need for paper charts. This eliminates the possibility of a patient being misdiagnosed or receiving improper treatment. Electronic charting also helps healthcare providers and physicians make a good impression on their patients because the online version of the chart looks much like an actual picture of the doctor.
In addition to minimizing mistakes made regarding treatment, electronic medical records also reduce the chances of a practitioner making a mistake during treatment. Because providers can electronically access the right EMRs, they have better access to up-to-date information than their counterparts. Additionally, these programs often feature patient reminders, which allow a patient to remind his or her doctor of vital information such as cholesterol levels or immunizations. This reminder system allows patients to update their health at any time. As most EMR software programs are compatible with a vast number of databases, doctors no longer have to spend time searching for relevant information.
Whether a clinic is small or large, it can benefit from implementing EMR software. Electronic health care records help reduce the number of clerical errors and administrative burdens, while offering a higher level of accessibility to patients. For clinics or hospitals looking to expand their services, or those in need of a way to improve patient care, electronic patient medical records are a cost-effective solution.