There was once a time when medical practitioners’ offices had walls lined with files that detailed a patient’s medical history for as long as they had been seen by that doctor. The massive amount of paperwork required for each patient left a strong possibility that records could be misplaced or discarded. Electronic medical records, or EMRs, have become an answer to this problem by providing medical professionals with a way to safely and securely store all the information regarding their patients in a single database.
Privacy Protection of Patient Medical History
Converting paper documents into an electronic form makes the administrative aspects of being a medical professional much easier. The secure nature of electronic records means that medical personnel have little to worry about when it comes to privacy concerns regarding the patient information. This protects them from any accidental violation of privacy laws should a record be misplaced or left exposed.
Ease of Access to Patient Records on the Go
Electronic Medical Records also allow for easy access from a variety of locations. In the past, a medical record would have been forwarded by fax or mail, but Electronic Medical Records make it as easy a few clicks of a mouse. This can dramatically reduce the wait time should information regarding a patient be needed. This also provides easy access for medical professionals that physically visit their patients in their place of residence, such as hospice workers.
Prescription Benefit to Patients
Patients can benefit from electronic records by reducing their wait time. When a prescription is ordered by the doctor, it can be sent directly to the pharmacy and be ready for pick-up by the time the appointment is over. In some locations where Electronic Medical Records have already been put in place, there has been a considerable reduction in prescription errors and drug interactions and possible complications.
This system also allows for patients to request a number of things from their doctor, including:
- Refills of prescriptions
Incentive to Change to Electronic Medical Records
Many institutions such as insurance companies and Medicare see the benefits of Electronic Medical Records and have started giving incentives for medical professionals to switch over. The initial setup fee and equipment costs associated with Electronic Medical Records have made some medical personnel wary of switching over. Incentive revenues are offered by insurance and Medicare so that this changeover can result in the least loss of time, money and productivity to the medical professional.
Further Developments in Medical Record Technology
As Electronic Medical Records continue to become a more integral part of medical offices everywhere, there will be an increase in how patients and doctors can utilize this technology. Results from tests can be securely and quickly sent to the patient and patients can easily update their own personal or medical information without compromising privacy. The lines of communication between patient and their doctors will be more open, leading to a better overall experience, a more accurate diagnosis, and ultimately to faster treatment.
Yassin works for BRIT Systems Inc. They provide solutions for PACS, RIS and teleradiology for the medical industry.