Electronic medical records, or EMR, allow doctors to file and track patient information and other practice statistics using methods more cost and space effective than physical filing formats. The benefits of EMR make this system an attractive choice for most medical offices, there are disadvantages which should be carefully considered before EMR is implemented.
From a managerial and treatment efficiency standpoint, there are a number of important advantages to choosing EMR data filing systems for a doctor’s office.
Information Sharing: Cloud-based EMR software allows doctors to share the medical records of a single patient in order to improve and streamline treatment strategies. Traditional physical filing systems required hefty medical records be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered by a patient between physicians and specialists. EMR makes a patient’s medical history much more accessible to every doctor needed for complete, comprehensive care.
Usable Office Space: Simply put, files take up valuable office space. Larger medical offices may have an entire exam room worth of space dedicated to a complex physical filing system. EMR requires as much space as a receptionist’s computer, freeing up a substantial amount of usable office space.
Test Results: Modern medical tests are predominantly based on digitally gathered information such as imaging scans and vital sign monitoring. These digital test results can be uploaded directly to a patient’s EMR as soon as the testing is complete, making the diagnosis and treatment process faster
The disadvantages of EMR are related to the long term cost of the electronic filing system and the perception patients may have of computerized medical records.
Training & Equipment: An EMR filing system can be expensive to initially install and requires ongoing investments as technology continues to evolve. Administrative staff members must be trained to handle the EMR software correctly in order to accurately enter and recall patient information.</li>
Security Concerns: Many patients believe computerized medical records are less secure than those kept in physical files. Even though HIPAA requires specific security measures be taken, the average patient is unaware of the firewalls, passwords, and encryption steps medical offices take to protect sensitive information. When a medical office implements an EMR system it is important to educate patients on security measures that have been put into place.
EMR (electronic medical records) are quickly becoming the standard in private practices, hospitals, and other medical offices. Before transitioning to a computerized filing system, doctors and medical administrators should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of EMR.
Jerry enjoys informing his readers about the advancement in medical technology. For a free download of a DICOM viewer and storage software, visit: http://www.brit.com/cloud/roentgencloud.html.