On the basis of several studies, it was assessed that nurses in hospitals spent up to one third of their time on documentation, whether on a spreadsheet or on paper. It was no wonder that hospitals went down on their efficiency, after a certain point when they grew in size. Someone had to bring about a change. That was when Electronic Medical Records (EMR) came into use.
The technological revolution in the healthcare industry came in the form of EMR. It serves the purpose of being an electronic or digital substitute for paper records of a patient maintained in a hospital. It can be accessed or managed by various staff within one healthcare organization.
7 Reasons why EMR was a hit
EMR has been one of the most effective contributions of technology in healthcare and this is not merely because it reduces paperwork in a hospital. It has the ability to improve the quality of care in a hospital. It in turn increases the efficiency of a hospital. Ultimately, it leads to improvement in the profitability of a hospital. So, as is evident, the benefits of an EMR system are manifold. Here are 7 such benefits that brought about the much needed change:
- Centralized access to patient information – As all the medical information related to a patient are available in a single place, doctors have easier and faster access to the same. It helps in speeding up the processes of diagnosis and treatment. Moreover they are relieved from a load of paperwork. Put together, it increases the overall efficiency of the doctors.
- Consistency of information – Compared to paper-based records, there are lesser chances of loss of data in the case of electronic records. It ensures that patient information or test results etc. are available when needed and that too, in any department.
- Economic benefits – An EMR does need an initial investment of money, but health practitioners have reported to have saved money in the long run. Paper-based record keeping could actually cost a lot as it involves the expenses of transcriptions, physical storage and maintenance, staffing expenses to manage the charts etc. EMR helps to save on all these expenses as it is network-based.
- Security of information – An individual patient’s records are protected in an EMR and are available only to authorized health practitioners. They stick to privacy regulations as well.
- Advanced capabilities – An EMR system comes with advanced capabilities like e-prescribing and clinical documentation. It also has automatic alerts built-in, to track possible critical health conditions or such warnings. It aids in effective treatment.
- Reliable tracking of history – It helps the doctors track data over a period of time easily. It also helps the patients keep track of their own medical records as well. It could be linked to their Personal Health Records.
- Proactive functioning – An EMR system helps the doctors in being more proactive in their treatment and approach. This is because of the advanced capabilities along with real time effective communication. It enables doctors to do more than just treat.
On the whole, EMR is the solution to most of the challenges faced by the healthcare industry. It is indeed nothing short of a revolution. Nowadays, EMR is increasingly being used by many hospitals all over the world. This explains why a number of healthcare centers have become a lot more efficient. It is almost like the world was waiting for such a solution, to improve the healthcare industry as a whole.