Evolution and Advancement: EMR Technology in 2021

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Over the course of the past year, healthcare providers across the board have learnt many valuable – albeit difficult – lessons relating to patient care and the importance of technology integration within patient care services. Faced with lockdowns and stay-at-home mandates, much of their work was forced to take place on digital forums and phone calls, rather than in person, due to the capacity for spreading Covid-19 with face-to-face care; only emergency cases were treated on an in-person basis. 

As a result of this, a greater reliance was placed on the various online and digital medical systems in use on a day-to-day basis. Since 2009, there has been a keen focus on updating and streamlining the technology utilized within healthcare facilities by successive governments, with software that provides healthcare professionals easier access to patient data being developed, revolutionizing the process of entering and gleaning patient information from Electronic Medical Records.

The future looks bright for EMR software and electronic health records, promising improved patient care and better prepared medical facilities. But what does the future evolution and advancement of EMR technology look like in 2021 and beyond?

The Impact of Covid-19 on Development

As previously mentioned, the lack of face-to-face appointments available for minor illnesses and non-emergency medical issues that occurred due to the pandemic increased the need for physicians and doctors to have easy access to reliable and accurate medical data, particularly specialized and dedicated online healthcare services such as ReliantUrgentCare.com, where appointments can be booked relating to new or ongoing health concerns.  

According to official data, EMR adoption rates across the US have reached approximately 89%, signaling that the past year has increased the uptake of such technology across healthcare facilities – a huge leap forward when considering the fact that pre-2000s healthcare relied on handwritten records physically transferred between facilities and inconveniently stored. Had the pandemic occurred then, many citizens experiencing common ailments would have been unable to receive individualized care based on their medical history, highlighting the need for digital solutions. 

The onset of the digital revolution has, however, spurred the development of digital solutions to EMR and HER in healthcare, which has then been effectively utilized by online medical services – paving the way for more online-centric healthcare in the future.

Upcoming Trends

There are big changes for EMR software and technology in the months and years ahead. These include: the introduction of AI and Voice Recognition to help doctors make diagnoses and recognize patterns in a patient’s health concerns; the transition of blockchain tech from NFTs and cryptocurrency to healthcare to secure patient data via cryptography; and the integration of well-known tech giants and 5G support in the production of EMR technology.

If these trends develop as predicted, the veracity of clinical trials and medical insurance claims can be substantiated to ensure accuracy and prevent fraud, increase ease-of-access for both patients and healthcare professionals, and the authentication and distribution of prescriptions. Despite the positive outlook, however, there are a number of areas that require focus.    

Common Concerns to Focus On

While there has been an increased uptake in EMR and EHR over the last year, there are some remaining issues and implementation hurdles that need attention.

The most common issue recorded amongst healthcare professionals is the user-friendliness and accessibility of such online resources, which is impacted by the lack of standardization across facilities with regards to the software used and how patient information is recorded. In addition, to increase the volume of patients who switch from traditional phone-based appointments to online services, there needs to be more of a focus on enabling smartphone accessibility.

Once these issues have been addressed and the entire process of using the software fully-streamlined and safely encrypted, the progress made thus far is likely to be vastly expanded upon, leading to a more digitally-based future for the world of medicine.

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