From Pen and Paper To EMR: A Look At The Big Change To Patient Records In 2020

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No matter what sector of healthcare you’re in, there has always been one tool that united everybody who works in the industry. It isn’t a prescription pad, a scalpel or even a stethoscope. The one tool that has been used every day by every worker has always been the trusty pen. Whilst paperwork has always been one of the least rewarding tasks of the job, it’s always been vital to complete it accurately and quickly to update a patient’s records. 

Previously this has meant that staff needed a pen at hand at all times. Nowadays, new technology is making it look like that all important writing tool will soon be obsolete. Here’s a look at how touchscreens and technology are completely changing the way staff communicate with each other and the benefits they’re bringing to wards and clinics. 

Speeding up treatment 

The main aim of anybody in the medical profession is to help improve the health of as many of their patients as possible. The only problem is that there are only so many hours of the day, and medical procedures are definitely something you don’t want to rush. As the demand on doctors’ and nurses’ time is so high, it’s important that we can do everything to make treatment times as quick as possible without jeopardising the safety of the patient. 

Not only does doing this benefit staff as they can complete their tasks more quickly, but it also benefits the patients as there will be shorter waiting lists meaning that they don’t have to spend as long in hospital. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that technology that helps speed up routine procedures have become very popular on wards around the world. 

For example, laser lithotripsy machines have allowed doctors to deal with problems such as kidney stones a lot more efficiently. Before these machines were invented, this procedure was often very painful for the patient and recovery times were long. Now machines like this reduce the side effects of the procedure and mean patients can avoid having to stay in hospital overnight. 

Sharing information easier

Another benefit of using technology like this is the speed of which things can be done. For example, if you needed to prescribe someone with medication, you would have previously written out their prescription by hand. Now you can send it directly to the pharmacy so the medication can be prepared instantly so that it’s ready for them to collect or even be delivered to their door. 

Putting safety first 

As well as being speedier, digital records are also making it safer for members of staff. We all know that viruses can live on surfaces for a worryingly long period of time, including on old cardboard files that used to be passed from department to department. Now, with only the digital files being sent, you can rest assured that they only thing you’re spreading is information and nothing else. It also means sensitive records are better protected behind passwords and other security features, while being backed up on servers rather than just resting on a piece of paper. 

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