Introduction of the EMR
There are numerous possibilities for anyone looking to invest in Information technology. Independent consumers and large corporation now have an endless number of options and alternatives to select from. The age of globalization is upon us, with almost every man, woman and child being affected by one or another form of technological advancement. The tide of development within the world of IT has swept industries, starting from banking with the introduction of ATMs and virtual banking, to the travel industry with online bookings and most recently to healthcare with the introduction of electronic prescriptions and EMRs.
This growth has meant that consumer demands and expectations have also increased significantly. Given the multiple possibilities, consumers now have more power and greater influence over product design. EMR is not just a glorified notepad anymore. It is a highly intricate solution designed to expedite medical workflow and improve patient care through clinical decision support and healthcare coordination.
With the US government spending trillions of dollars on healthcare, there is a pressing need for care quality improvement and cost rationalization. This has forced the government and health bodies to implement stringent polices and care regulations. Physicians already burdened with the validation of claims have found it really hard to deal with the increasing complexities of the healthcare industry. The linear workflow along with policing of electronic medical records helps ensure compliance, allowing an increase in practice productivity whilst adhering to best practice standards.
However, workflow standardization may also cause problems. Practices are distinguished through their service and way of operation. Hospitals with large budgets and financing options will always have more leverage when making a decision regarding an EMR system. These corporations have hardened workflows and hundreds of full-time employees, therefore having each and every member of the hospital conforming to a brand new environment / system would simply result in inefficiency, errors and hassle. However, given the right budgets, these corporations have a chance to develop their own bespoke systems with limited but important functionality.
Solo practitioners simply do not have the financial capacity to embark on such expeditions and hence they must select a solution that is readily and easily customizable to suit some and if not all of their functional requirements. This capability has put some EMR vendors ahead of the rest by allowing their end users to guide the scope of development and design their own virtual environments with customizable components, templates and more.