Why Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Technology is Important in Healthcare

An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a digital version of the traditional paper-based medical record for an individual. The EMR represents a medical record within a single facility, such as a doctor’s office or a clinic. An EMR includes information about a specific patient, including:
  • Patient contact information, including emergency contact(s)
  • Vitals, such as height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and body temperature
  • Past and future medical facility appointments
  • Physician orders
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical progress and surgical notes
  • Consent to release information forms
  • Allergies
  • Past medical history
  • Billing information, such as insurance
  • Discharge summaries and treatment plans
There are two key pieces to this definition:
  1. EMR software helps to manage the creation, organization, and retrieval of electronic patient records.
  2. EMR software does not enable you to share electronic records with other organizations (unlike electronic health records, or EHR, software).
Also Read: How Hospital Information System (HIS) Managing Healthcare Agencies A typical EMR solution allows physicians and clinicians to easily manage:
  • Patient Charts:
Create patient charts electronically at the point of care that include demographics, clinical health histories, allergy information, medications, immunization records, progress notes, lab results, and more
  • ePrescriptions:
Generate and send prescriptions to pharmacies electronically
  • Lab Orders:
Electronically create and send orders for lab work, medical tests, and consultations
  • Billing :
Capture all evaluation and management (E & M) codes at the point of care to ensure complete invoices and eliminate downcoding.

Basic features

  • Alerts and reminders
  • Amend encounter
  • Appointment management
  • Billing and invoicing (or interfaces)
  • Chart management
  • Claims management
  • Drug allergy and drug-to-drug interaction
  • ePrescribing
  • Medication and recall tracking
  • Physician order entry

Advanced features

  • Anatomical designation
  • Investigation questionnaire
  • Medication tracking
  • Mobile and wireless access
  • Patient self-assessment
  • P4P (pay for performance) management
  • Practice patterns and standards
  • Scheduling interface
  • Tablet/Touch screen
  • Voice recognition and voice records

Other features that may be included in an EMR solution include:

  • Clinical care and decision support
  • Clinical flow sheets
  • Clinical pathways integration
  • Document scanning and management
  • HL7 lab interface
  • Patient portal and education
  • Prescription drug database
  • Template management
Also Read: Medico Legal Case Management- A Complete Guide

The Advantages of an EMR

Benefits of EMRs for PATIENTS:
  • Fewer errors on medical records
  • Quicker assessment and care from medical professionals
  • Data and results are tracked over time
  • Improved health diagnosis, treatment and overall quality of care
  • Identify patients who are due for preventive visits and screenings
  • Enhanced privacy and security of patient data
  • Reduction in patient errors and improved patient care
  • Enable evidence-based decisions at point of care
  • Follow-up information after a visit such as self-care instructions, reminders for other follow-up care, and links to web resources
  • Access to patient’s own records to view medications and keep up with lifestyle changes that have improved their health
Benefits of EMRs for CLINICS:
  • Save space by eliminating paper records needing to be stored, managed and retrieved
  • Optimize workflow and increased number of patients served per day
  • Reduce administrative difficulties and operational costs
  • Interface easily with hospitals, pharmacies, labs and state health systems
  • Customizable and scalable electronic records
  • Gather and analyze patient data that enables outreach to discreet populations
  • Provide clinical alerts and reminders
  • Improve documentation and coding
  • Enhance research and monitoring for improvements in clinical quality
  • Provide built-in safeguards against prescribing treatments that would result in adverse events
  • Track electronic messages to staff, other clinicians, hospitals, labs, etc.
  • Links to public health systems such as registries and communicable disease databases


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