Electronic Medical Records for Healthcare
Electronic medical records also referred to as Electrical Health Record contains all information about a person’s lifelong health status, and these are systems that can add to the database information for management, including clinical alerts, reminders, aids to make decisions, links to the latest literature and information for analysis, like search engines, etc.
People are realizing the enormous benefits of electronic medical records, that can vastly improve the efficiency, safety, and quality of Information Technology based electronic medical records. Even governments are realizing the importance of IT-based records, and are passing legislation for all healthcare providers’ medical records based on Information Technology.
Another great advantage is that digital records require less space to store, are easier to collate, and do not need multiple photocopying and faxing in case the medical records have to be sent to insurance companies or another place.
How can electronic medical record systems help?
An electronic medical record system creates and stores medical information which allows easy transmission, retrieval, and modification of these records. Electronic records help to standardize forms, terminology and abbreviations, and data input. Another distinct advantage of electronic data is that it facilitates data collection for epidemiology and research studies.
According to law, most states require that any hospital, clinic, or physician’s office must hold a patient’s medical record for at least 7 years.
Records that are paper-based are still more common in America, as they have been used for a very long time, and most doctors and hospital staff are more comfortable and familiar with the traditional paper-based record. Usually, handwritten records are difficult to read and understand which can result in medical mistakes.
The use of pre-printed forms, standardized abbreviations, and standards for writing was encouraged to minimize errors. It is very likely that in the near future, cabinets containing paper-based medical records will become obsolete. Around 98,000 deaths annually are attributed to medical errors, with a financial loss of around $29 billion.
With the appropriate use of ingenuous EMR, many of these deaths are entirely preventable, as the doctor treating the patient, or the surgeon operating on the patient could instantly retrieve and review the patient’s medical records and hence adopt the correct procedure medications and precautionary measures.
Electronic medical records are easily updated, and information can be easily exchanged with other EMR systems. This improves the deliverance of healthcare, and data can be used for statistical reporting for resource management, quality improvement, and disease surveillance.