Implementing Electronic Medical Records within a practice marks the initiation of practices going online and reaching a greater potential market. However, most physicians have adopted Electronic Medical Records solutions to comply with best practices and achieve meaningful use incentives. This allows the providers to improve efficiency in their service delivery and provide better care to patients. There are numerous reasons why any practitioner would opt for Electronic Medical Records to maintain patients’ records. We will aim to shed a little light into the matter here.
First and foremost, on account of the interoperability achieved via Electronic Medical Records, processes have become significantly quicker and much more efficient. This aspect saves time and money for both clinicians and patient alike. Moreover, it allows for diseases to be treated that much quicker and ensure better care for patients. Apart from the fringe benefits of this aspect such as increased patient satisfaction, the overall public health improves as well.
Another important change that implementation of Electronic Medical Records brings is the traceability of the movement of data and information. Sensitive data such as patient health information always has a trail which indicates all movement and eyes upon that information. Although there have been concerns in the medical community regarding the security of sensitive data when using Electronic Medical Records, it has been identified when there have been breaches. Prior to this, in case of misplaced or stolen physical records there were absolutely no identifiers or checks upon those breaches. Furthermore, data is always encrypted; managers may give usernames and passwords to authorized staff members who can keep track of what everyone is accessing at all times. This means staff members cannot access or view private information without the manager’s consent.
Other services along with Electronic Medical Records have been computerized such as medical billing, practice management and Patient Portals. These features facilitate accelerated collections for the provider and streamline back office and front desk administrative tasks. Initially all these services were operated as separate software, but now it’s preferable to have them integrated within the EMR to facilitate the interoperable aspect of computerization.
Patient portals have become increasingly important in the practice of medicine now. This phenomenon is evident through several examples. For instance, the emphasis upon use of Patient Portals has become crucial as providers gear up for entry into the stage 2 of meaningful use. Regulatory and standardization bodies have appreciated the significance of Patient Portals by their stance upon Patient Portals in stage 2. Doctors and patients are granted secure access to private health information 24/7 through their Patient Portal from any part of the globe as long as they have internet access. Therefore, Patient Portals accelerate simple communication between physicians and patients, and makes processes much quicker.
As the medical fraternity moves into the future, EMR and incorporated services pave the way for practice in the 21st century. Now as physicians become more familiar and comfortable with the software applications the question is not why go for this new technology, it’s only when?