How does an EMR improve patient care
How does an EMR improve patient care? EMRs or electronic medical records are very important to the healthcare industry. In fact, they help with providing treatment and managing finances. Not only do they benefit primary care, but they also offer richer aspects.
The purpose of an EMR is to take paper records and convert them into digital form. Before we explain how an EMR improves patient care, let’s elaborate. Simply, EMR offers interfaces and a bunch of functionalities to healthcare systems. With an EMR, you can manage payments, process insurance claims, add new patients, and schedule patients.
Additionally, you can record patient health data, share patient data, and more. EMRs include doctor’s notes, medical history, lab results, diagnoses, immunization dates, allergies, etc. Consequently, the documentation of a customer’s medical history diminishes errors in diagnosis and ensures better care.
What is meaningful use?
The following question of what meaningful use is directly related to EMRs. Does it help answer how EMR improves patient care? Truth is, complying with meaningful use means using EMR systems to make clinical data communication stronger. Furthermore, this reinforces practice efficiency while improving patient care on a wide scale. Namely, here are the targets of meaningful use:
- Reducing errors
- Improving care coordination and public health
- Maintaining the privacy and security of patient’s data
- Improving patient safety, efficiency, and quality
- Engaging families and individuals
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Advantages of EMRs for patients
The many advantages of EMRs for patients all lead to improved patient satisfaction and positive outcomes. Here is how EMR improve patient care:
- Reducing errors in comparison with paperwork
- Offering faster and better care
- Tracking patient information and results in time
- Improving diagnosis, treatment, and preventing adverse events
- Identifying patients requiring preventive care and screenings
- Boosting privacy and security for patient health information
- Supporting clinical decisions that are based on data
- Receiving follow-up support like weblinks, reminder and self-care advice
- Providing patient portals to the patient’s medications prescriptions and records while following the required changes in lifestyle
Advantages of EMRs for providers
Practitioners benefit, too, from the advantages of EMRs for providers.
1- EMRs reduce consumed space: there is no longer a need to manage, store and retrieve paper records which saves space.
2- They have perfect workflows: with EMRs, you can optimize your workflows, manage visiting patients and track them.
3- Reducing operations costs: EMRs keep records in the same place. Thus, reducing operational costs.
4- Communicating with other facilities: as a clinic owner, you can contact labs, hospitals, pharmacies, national health systems, and the state.
5- Scalability: EMRs help scale and customize patients’ records.
6- Allowing outreach: facilities can collect patient info and analyze it. Therefore, helping practitioners reach discrete cases improves general health.
7- Alerts and reminders: the communication capabilities of EMRs let facilities send alerts and reminders.
8- Less documentation and medical errors: this improves care, fills gaps, and avoids redundancy.
9- Research support: better care quality is directly related to documenting digitally for research support.
10- Conflicting treatment checking: EMRs have safeguards that avoid conflicting treatments.
11- Staff communication: EMRs can track the messages between labs, clinicians, staff, and hospitals.
12- Avoid duplicate tests: repeating tests can become a flaw ordered mistakenly by doctors without timely access to them. EMRs reduce the tendency for repetition.
Disadvantages of EMRs
Stating the disadvantages of EMRs is as important as the advantages. However, these are not linked to the systems. Naturally, the implementation, initial investment, and training cause mistakes. Plus, many other disadvantages include:
1- The possibility of hacking: data breaches make digital data vulnerable and less secure. This is where certified systems with built-in measures for security become handy. Besides that, training the staff to keep basic security measures is essential. For example, unauthorized access is impossible when workstations are never left unattended.
2- Updates requirements: inaccurate data might occur when you don’t update records frequently.
3- Management of devices: patient care disruptions happen along with diagnosis and treatment interruptions when access is unavailable. Initially, this happens when location prevents access or power cuts and internet interruptions happen. Also, gaps in records come about when physicians don’t carry their devices during their rounds.
The future of EMRs
The future of EMRs looks bright. Of course, the advantages of EMRs are far more remarkable than their disadvantages. Keep in mind when implementing an EMR the training and initial costs. Be careful from the start when selecting your EMR. Although switching the systems costs a lot regarding training, time, and money, the future lies within EMR.
Experts expect to see a big growth in integration, accessibility, devices, and interoperability in the future. Besides, better decisions are guaranteed for better treatment and diagnosis. This will save money and time for both patients and facilities. Finally, the landscape of the healthcare field will change forever. A more flexible workflow base will boost productivity and reduce mistakes and errors. Don’t forget the importance of EMR experience and the unquestionable need for training.
Ambula healthcare team is waiting for any inquiry you have; call: (818) 308-4108! And check out How are duplicate medical records are detected in EMRs?