The purpose of an Electronic medical record (EMR) solution is to automate the clinical operations of a medical practice. EMR ensures better control over the information captured and allows for constructive utilization of structured and ’big data’. The idea behind clinical automation is simple, ’add value to the care processes’. For providers and care institutions that have become apt in utilizing paper based records, such systems offer no additional value. However, experts believe that paper is limiting healthcare growth and must be phased out.
Unlike the paper based system, EMR offers more value than a simple data repository. Its built-in clinical decision support system helps ensure patient safety while promoting quality standards and best practices. Allergies and drug interactions are accounted for through automated system alerts while anomalies are brought to the user’s attention. By utilizing patient data, the system keeps the provider informed at all times. Patient clinical summary, past medical history and chief complaints are available through a simple interface. There is no hassle of shuffling through records, as the provider always has a clear view. These features help save time and can be crucial when delivering critical care.
’The government intends on using the health IT platform to promote evidence based practice and standards of operation. This would help reduce care discrepancies and improve practice productivity’, shares an independent health IT consultant.
Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology believes that it is time for the healthcare industry to look towards population health management, for which the care sector requires health IT, ’You can deliver excellent customer service if you wait for someone to walk in the door and then you go and pull their chart or you make a new chart for them. What you can’t do with paper charts is to ask the question who didn’t walk in the door? Or who is going to walk in the door?’. Dr. Mostashari believes that the focus should be on how to use data as an asset and how to use information tools such electronic medical records to look at the big picture. The healthcare community must be able to utilize these systems to further its pursuit of affordable and accountable care.