Is EMR A Boon Or Bane To The Patients

Electronic Health RecordsPaper charts are slowly being replaced by EMR or Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Records. Over the last few years, we have been hearing a lot about the importance of setting up a uniform EMR system. There have been many moves in this regard with many subsidies being provided to achieve this target. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using an electronic medical record? In this post, we will look into the various aspects of using EMR in detail.

As a medical practitioner, one of the major difficulties that you could face is treating a new patient who does not have the documents related to his previous treatments. Now, if the patient is aged, he/she could have undergone many treatments. In such a situation, an electronic medical record could become a great help to the physician. The EMRs can also come to your help if there is a language barrier. Patients of foreign origin may face difficulties in communicating his treatment history and here, EMRs could play an important role. With the use of EMR, the physician can track data associated with each patient over a period. EMRs are designed to ease the task of record keeping. The use of EMRs also makes the records more accurate.

Even though there are quite a few advantages of using an electronic medical record, you will also find a range of disadvantages associated with it. Sometimes, you might have felt that the medical practitioner is taking more time to input the records in the computer than he/she would have spent to diagnose the issue. A doctor using EMR spends more time in front of the computer. He/she would be busy with the previous treatment history and entering the details of the present condition of the patient. Now, this precious time spend on the EMR is definitely a loss for the patient.

Now, as a medical practitioner, you could be supporting EMRs. This is because the use of EMR would help in enhancing the reimbursement of the physician. However, keep in mind that itElectronic Medical Record does not help in the thought process of the physician or improve the medical expertise of this physician.

Even though EMRs have a few disadvantages, they are here to stay. We would soon find almost all the doctors using this facility. Let us hope that it makes treatments more efficient and convenient for both physicians and patients alike.


EMR Growing Into Device App Arena

Electronic Medical RecordBoston Children’s Hospital’s Informatics team has come up with a standardized electronic medical record interface, which allows removable apps to draw specific data from existing EHR systems. This is a breakthrough at a time when every EMR company operates separately.

EHR has gained unprecedented prevalence in the healthcare sector, with electronic medical record apps now seeking to streamline the way patient health information is stored, accessed and implemented across multiple devices. Currently, if a hospital needs to highlight a portion of the patient’s medical information, or to flag any recent events, the EMR company has to come up with a respective software update. Said update would be required to be send to the system’s library, where it would be made available for download to each EP and EH using the Electronic Medical Record system.

Mandl, a Harvard professor in the BCH’s informatics program, says that an EHR should be “able to run an app that is substitutable. You can add it or delete it and you would get your apps from something like an app store”. The open market concept, if realized, would let software innovators make necessary changes to accommodate specific departmental requests and technology changes. This seems why Mandl and his team have placed their interface – named the SMART (Substitutable Medical Apps and Reusable Technology) program – as a free program. Use of such apps also lets creators push in the relevant information inside a patient’s diagnosis.

The SMART program has been four years in the making, funded by a $15 million grant from the federal government in 2010, and in collaboration with their EHR provider, Cerner. The team is currently developing base apps to demonstrate the function of the interface. Intermountain Healthcare, a healthcare organization based in Utah, is also moving to the Cerner system as well as using the SMART program technology.

Other takers include Healthcare Corporation of America, a Nashville-based collective of 165 hospitals and 115 freestanding surgery centers, who are currently transitioning to the SMARTEHR Systems technology. The organization will begin releasing own apps next year.

The SMART program has been backed by AARP, Surescripts, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, etc., and all these have joined a committee to support the product. Electronic Medical Record apps may become even more common than they are now, if the next Stage of Meaningful Use includes their implementation as an objective.