The need to increase the use of EMR records/systems in healthcare has been felt for sometime now. Information is everything, everybody realizes that. The amount of communication that takes place in the new information world is possible because of Information technology, and it is apparent that the adoption of the same is being felt across everywhere, and that includes the medical and health care systems.
The challenges faced by healthcare systems are surely increasing, the major of them include:
• Preventing errors when possible
• Improving communication across various systems
• Reducing the costs associated
Well, at least the literature says that the use of EMR systems
have dramatically improved the communication and patient safety without increasing the costs. The communication in this context means that the entire records of the patient’s entire medical history are available in one central database that can be retrieved any time upon request. If you ask what exactly is recorded? The information includes all the clinical information, medical graphs, nursing and doctor’s quotes, medicine history and so on. All the information significantly increases the decision making of the people at the point of care. Such systems can dramatically reduce administrative errors by verifying the patient’s identity.
These systems really don’t need much training effort. A basic EMR training lasts for about 5 weeks, and the doctors or the clinical assistant are ready to use the systems.
But still the change is not possible just by buying information technology systems and installing them, the whole transformation is kind of a cultural acceptance, and requires a solid foundation which involves training and educating the staff about the systems.
The EMR systems are believed to reduce the patient care related errors by 20%, which is as good as saving few 1000 lives, few 1000 dollars for millions of patients across the country. The costs associated with the systems can be gradually recovered over a period of time, and the general public will be more receptive to the cost changes too. How we envision the systems is probably a part of ongoing discussions, and we will see how things develop, and how easily EMR systems percolate into the Healthcare practices.