Advantages of Electronic Medical Record Systems
The world is demanding more and more digital services and the healthcare industry is no exception. With healthcare costs rising more quickly than the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, healthcare providers are actively exploring strategies to increase productivity and reduce labor by streamlining workflow to increase efficiency. One area that has lagged behind is records management; providers have been slow to adopt electronic medical record systems, holding on to the paradigm of thinking that traditional records management systems are superior in terms of security and accuracy.
But the truth is that electronic medical record systems (EMRs) are the future of healthcare information systems, having several significant advantages over traditional, physical document management systems.
EMRs Offer Increased Security: Thanks to their ability to extract only the minimum amount of data needed for the specific query, electronic medical record systems reduce the amount of Protected Health Information (PHI) that is exposed when a release of information is requested. They also establish a log of everyone who accesses the information contained in the record, which results in greater accountability from personnel who handle the file.
Expanded functionality: Electronic medical record systems also differ from their paper counterparts in that they are more than just a records storage and retrieval system; they have the potential to be a physician's companion. EMRs can access databases across the nation or the world, providing physicians with information to assist with diagnostics, develop patient treatment plans, and answer questions regarding prescription medications.
Better quality of care: Healthcare providers have easier and quicker access to the relevant medical information they need to diagnose and treat their patients. By eliminating the need to disseminate information from a potentially large patient file, physician error is reduced which improves the patient's experience and outcome.
Lower cost: Managing a physical records system while staying compliant with HIPAA rules and regulations is labor intensive and requires staffing levels significantly higher than what is necessary to manage an EMR system. Eliminating a physical records department immediately reduces expenditures for labor and the cost to maintain the space required to store and secure physical records.
Electronic medical record systems increase efficiency by streamlining your organization's data retrieval workflow by improving the process for accessing health information. Security is greatly increased, cost of records management is reduced, and most important, physicians provide better care to patients due to the EMR system's ability to extrapolate only relevant data.
Fig Gungor is CEO of OneSource Document Management, a New York based company that offers a broad range of customized copy and scanning services that translate into a significant savings for insurance companies, hospitals and large medical facilities.