Electronic medical record systems (EMR) are a huge step up from paper records. A medical clinic can benefit in several ways following implementation of this powerful piece of health information technology. Patient care is more efficient and medical records are more secure when stored in an electronic format. Here are a few of the ways electronic medical records are beneficial:
Easy Access to Important Patient Information
If a patient needs to see a specialist, electronic records make it easier for the physician to share important information. The specialist’s office can gain access to health information like medication lists, immunization records, allergy lists, recent test results or the patient’s medical history. It can be as simple as the specialist’s office logging in to the medical record with a password. Some electronic records systems also allow faxing information directly from the patient’s chart.
Increased Portability of Medical Records
If a patient moves or chooses to switch providers, an electronic medical record makes it easier to transfer patient information. With paper charts, each page has to be copied on a copying machine. With electronic records, the patient’s chart can be printed easily from a computer or transferred to a data CD or USB drive. The new provider can also gain access to the patient’s chart by logging in to the original provider’s electronic record.
Protection from Fire, Flood or Theft
Paper medical charts are vulnerable to fire or flood. They are also vulnerable to being misplaced or stolen. With electronic records, the charts are backed up on servers located away from the clinic or hospital. Natural disasters are less likely to destroy them. There is also no way for them to be misplaced or stolen. Electronic records are backed up frequently on other servers and protected by password from theft.
A Better Connection to Pharmacies
Without an electronic system, prescriptions have to be called in to a pharmacy or written out by hand by a physician. This leaves room for a lot of errors, especially with physicians’ frequently messy handwriting. Incorrect reading of a physician’s prescription could lead to the patient receiving the wrong medication, which could make them more ill. With electronic records, physicians can log in to the patient’s chart, choose the medication and dosage from a drop down list and send the information electronically directly to the pharmacy.
As you can see, there are many reasons to upgrade a paper chart system to an electronic medical records system. One of the most popular categories of medical software available today, more and more medical practices are reaping the benefits of EMR.