Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are bringing big changes to the healthcare industry in almost every area. Before EMRs, each healthcare provider would manage their own patient records, unaware of treatment that they had received elsewhere or any detail relating to their medical history. EMRs are digital records which means that they can be easily shared and accessed by each healthcare provider, enabling a more collaborative and streamlined approach to their medical care. This should improve both the efficiency and quality of care that patients receive. Here we explore how the technology has progressed in recent years, how it can be used by healthcare providers today, and what’s likely to happen in the future.
How can EMR technology improve healthcare?
Patient safety is at the forefront of every healthcare provider’s strategy, and EMRs enable organizations across the world to improve the care they deliver. By giving every organization access to digital records, the need for phone calls, emails, or even mailing information back and forth is removed, meaning that patients can receive more appropriate care sooner.
The digital nature of the record also improves the accuracy of the information recorded, such as medications and past procedures, and removes the risk of misunderstandings due to illegible handwriting or human omission. This also increases the likelihood that medication will be administered in the correct dosage and that medication that might interfere with other treatments is not prescribed. For example, if a patient is undergoing reproductive services Tulsa OK, another healthcare professional will see this and can adapt their care accordingly, e.g., they will not prescribe medication that could impact fertility. If EMRs are cloud-based, they will be accessible and editable by healthcare professionals all over the world.
EMRs could also include reminders that would draw a healthcare professional’s attention to care requirements so that there are no gaps in a patient’s care. This could be particularly helpful if a patient were to move into a new area as there would not be a delay in communication between their old primary healthcare provider and the new one.
The latest advances in EMR technology
EMR technology is moving on all the time, but the latest advancements are focused on mobile technology so that healthcare professionals can communicate with their patients via mobile devices like cellphones and tablets. This could enable patients to send photographs, video, or audio of physical symptoms that could help their doctor to decide whether an in-person appointment is necessary. This would mean that patients get the right care in a quicker time frame, and medical practices can save time and resources by thinning out their appointment schedule.
If EMRs can be connected to wearable technology such as fitness trackers, healthcare professionals will have recorded and live information about a patient’s heart rate, level of physical activity, and even their sleep routine. This information could be used to tailor the care they provide and could also provide alerts to any concerning changes as soon as they take place. Click here for more on wearable technology and EMRs.