Merely a few years ago, if anyone fell sick they had to call the doctor or manually go to their practice and wait to book an appointment. The same was true for getting lab results, prescriptions or medical history. No one could foresee that all these issues would be eradicated with the help of technology. EMR and practice management are the technological marvels which have seamlessly connected different members within the healthcare continuum, completely reshaping the industry to what it’s become today. Without a doubt such tools have benefited the patient in the shape of enhanced patient care; in fact some would suggest that patients obtain the highest amount of benefit from health IT. Having said that, both EMR and practice management have redefined medical practice for clinicians across the nation as well.
EMR has made the documentation of various clinical processes fairly simple. Storing, retrieving and documenting information has been automated through the help of EMR technology. All health records are now stored electronically rather than on paper, which is why the use of paper within a provider’s practice is now virtually non-existent. This translates into a significant reduction in the costs of buying, storing and handling paper documents. Furthermore, paper documents are subject to deterioration whereas electronic records can be backed up on other sources, so they aren’t going anywhere. The advent of EMR has been a godsend for physicians all over the globe, especially for clinicians in the US. Apart from reducing costs, documentation of clinical encounters has become so easy that a routine checkup takes three times lesser the amount of time it would take otherwise. In turn, this boosts the earnings of any practice since a greater number of patients can be checked within the same period of time.
Administrative processes are expedited significantly through the use of a practice management system. Moreover, with practice management there are little or no clerical mistakes since data input is elementary and user friendly. Employing practice management software results in a reduced number of administrative staff required, which once again means even lower costs. A lot of hassle is reduced since patients may schedule appointments online in available time slots for their physicians, which subsequently leads to a lot of saved time and money (by avoiding commuting and phone calls).
The expansive number of advantages inherent to implementing technology within the healthcare industry is undeniable; the fact that the federal government has incorporated implementation of EMR and practice management into law bears testament to this fact. Not too far from now, it is inevitable that we see a fully automated healthcare system across the nation where all physicians have employed this technology.