Benefits of Utilizing Electronic Medical Records in a Healthcare Facility
Electronic medical records (EMR) are becoming more common in healthcare settings. More locations are using these records to store patient information. However, some people are concerned about the security of their personal health data. Understanding how this technology works may ease some of these concerns.
What is an Electronic Medical Record?
An electronic medical record (EMR), or electronic health record (EHR), is a digital record of a patient’s medical information. These records typically include a patient’s medical history, including past treatments and notes from healthcare providers.
Before the use of electronic medical records, doctors stored this information in files. Sharing these files with other doctors was time-consuming. They would typically need to make physical copies and send the patient with the records.
As EMRs are stored digitally, they can be accessed instantly. This brings many advantages to patients and healthcare professionals.
Second Opinions Are Easier to Obtain
Many doctors rely on their peers to evaluate their diagnoses and provide a second opinion. As mentioned, with paper records, doctors would need to physically send a copy of the patient information to receive a second opinion. With digital records, there is no waiting.
Electronic medical records are often accessible from a variety of devices. Some of these systems even use a web-based program to allow access from any device with an internet connection, such as a tablet or smartphone.
EMRs May Help Reduce Administrative Costs
While the previous advantages help both patients and providers, there are additional benefits for providers. Implementing an EMR system may help to reduce administrative costs, especially if the system helps replace the need for paper filing.
With digital records, the staff spends less time filing and retrieving patient information. This efficiency has an umbrella effect. By improving the efficiency of managing patient information, efficiency improves across the board. Doctors can provide faster diagnoses, and nurses spend less time trying to determine a patient’s needs.
Additional Financial Savings from EMR Systems
Besides reducing administrative costs, there are additional ways that EMR systems can help healthcare organizations save money. Several studies that investigated the use of EMRs found that organizations reduce the occurrence of costly mistakes by using these digital records.
By providing providers with easier access to patient information, they may reduce billing errors, diagnostic errors, and other issues that result in financial waste.
Does Your Healthcare Facility Use EMRs?
Whether you are a patient or a healthcare professional, you should find out if your facility uses EMRs.
For patients, your EMR ensures that your providers know your medical history and can provide better care. For healthcare professionals, EMR can improve the efficiency of your organization. Staff can easily share and review patient information before providing treatment.
Over the coming years, more healthcare organizations will likely start utilizing EMRs due to the advantages discussed.
As with most digital technology, EMRs provide a more effective way to store and retrieve information. This brings the added benefit of helping to improve patient care by ensuring that doctors always have the most up-to-date patient information.