In the ever-changing world of technology we now live in, healthcare technology has also seen dramatic improvements surrounding the health and wellbeing of patients. One of the biggest transformations we’ve seen in recent years is the innovative Electric Medical Record (EMR). EMRs have ensured that medical institutions no longer need to rely on paper files to keep notes of their patients, and data is almost instant. However, one of the question marks over EMR is, what comes next and how can it be improved?
In this article, we’re going to look at the most likely developments that will take place in 2019 and beyond:
Accessibility for all staff members
Although EMR is currently very accessible for clients, there are still concerns about the accessibility of the machines. At the time of writing, users of EMRs are still unable to access the technology on mobile devices, something which would make it far easier to carry out tasks while on the go, nor can certain people access the software as and when necessary. This is all down to the cost.
Currently, EMR software is costing millions of dollars, which means that there are limitations as to what can be achieved. There are hopes that in the near future, costs may be reduced as more discoveries are made as to how these features can be implemented into the existing models.
At the current time, medical centres are aiming to overcome this issue through external platforms such as The Cloud. Despite this, there are added costs as data is kept off-site rather than on personal systems and if the system crashes, there’s not much that can be done about it. Some professionals have predicted that the use of The Cloud is highly unlikely to change in the very near future as it offers a solution to the above issues which cannot be solved unless systems become cheaper to run.Better security
Currently, there are concerns over the lack of security in EMR systems; they are vulnerable and at risk from outside activity. There have been reports that staff working at institutions have broken into systems to access files that were never supposed to be shared with them, which means there needs to be some serious changes made in the interests of security. Professionals recommend that medical centres should be vigilant about who has access to data until specialist security software is included in EMR systems.
Patients having access to digital files
Patients who have serious health concerns may be constantly on tender hooks about what their medical records are showing after having undergone tests; this is where it may be useful to give patients full access to their own medical records. This is even more important for patients who have been told to undergo treatments to reduce their symptoms, and those who have major health concerns and are anxious about their results. For example, patients who have been suffering from gut problems may have been told that there is the risk of cancer, but have been given a temporary solution such as Movicol to relieve constipation and other possible symptoms. After undergoing another screening, patients will be able to check their records almost immediately to find out whether their concern is as serious as doctors presumed. Awaiting results for weeks on end can be an extremely nerve-wracking time for any patient, so it’s certainly an avenue that needs consideration in the future of EMR.
Using all-in-one devices
Currently, many medical centres are using multiple EMR systems; this can make it more difficult to communicate and can often limit efficiency. Many institutions work off several parts of the main system which makes it even more difficult to share information with one another and ensure patient outcomes are positive. In the near future, it’s hoped that EMR systems can come in all-in-one devices to limit misunderstandings and provide a much more streamlined plan of action when it comes to patient care.
Currently, patients who are suffering with a particular health concern are usually expected to test a number of medications to see which works best for them; one example being rheumatoid arthritis. Not only does this take time, but it is also a waste of money which could otherwise be spent elsewhere.
Precision medicine may be a new tool incorporated into EMR systems that can help combat the issue. It will mean that medicines given to patients are tailored to their own DNA and genetics, which are likely to achieve better results than simply using trial and error. Although this will require a lot of money upfront to develop the technology, it could reduce costs significantly in terms of doctors’ time and drug usage later down the line.