The advent of healthcare IT in the health industry has ensured that prior health technologies such as paper records are outdated. The health reforms have added to the importance of healthcare software. Technology in the healthcare sector has contributed immensely in providing accurate, reliable and timely service.
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are basic health softwares that help in doing away with the disadvantages that paper records had.
The biggest advantage of electronic information is the ease with which it can stored and accessed. Some of the other benefits of EMR are:
- Immense information can be stored, managed and retrieved whenever required.
- Mishandling, confusion and error associated with manual handling of information can be reduced or even eliminated.
- When information is stored electronically, it is easier to keep it confidential when required. This may be needed in cases of storing sensitive data about a patient’s personal details, history and medical records.
- Medical data in the form of EMR makes it possible to be accessed by a large number of people who are authorized to do so.
- This immense resource can be utilized for other purposes such as further research or processing of the available information for quote comparison and insurance search engines.
Electronic data is quite beneficial but it has its drawbacks as well. Here is a look at the disadvantages of storing data in digital format.
- The process of converting paper record into electronic form is an expensive process and unless the federal government provides with adequate funds, not many would be able to afford it.
- A lot of healthcare providers are either ‘technologically challenged’ or not too enthusiastic about the advent of IT in the health industry.
- Question about the quality, ease of use, functionality and other technical issues can prove to be a major hurdle in implementation.
- Need a large amount of resource for training and re-training about the adoption of this healthcare technology.
- A lot of residents doubt the clinical usefulness of EMR.
The core capabilities of an electronic medical report include:
a. Immediate access to important information would improve the doctor’s ability to take timely medical decisions
b. Access of information by various caregivers would improve a patient’s safety and care.
c. A computer based data system would improve legibility, reduce duplication and ensure speedy process.
d. Computerized decision support would help in encouraging preventive practices, identify drug interaction and facilitate treatments.
e. Uniform data standards will help healthcare organizations to respond quickly to federal, state and private reporting requirements.
Electronic Medical Record is very useful and important healthcare software that will form the basis of other healthcare softwares. However, the issues with the EMRs need to addressed first before they can be implemented effectively.