MedCity Influencers

EMR and Patient Portal — Tools for Quality Care

From healthcare professionals to patients, everyone is well aware of the fact that besides streamlining the process of clinical documentation and eradicating the norms of conventional paper based practice; Electronic Medical Records (EMR) has helped physicians achieve the targets of providing quality and affordable care. Inadequate results of healthcare has always been a pressing issue […]

From healthcare professionals to patients, everyone is well aware of the fact that besides streamlining the process of clinical documentation and eradicating the norms of conventional paper based practice; Electronic Medical Records (EMR) has helped physicians achieve the targets of providing quality and affordable care. Inadequate results of healthcare has always been a pressing issue for the U.S. EMRs were introduced to initiate the concept of evidence based practice – helping the government and the physicians find the loop holes in the system and make effective improvements.

“EMRs have come a long way from merely being a digital system used to document patient encounters to a definitive tool that helps physicians ensure better care delivery. One of the major contributions that EMRs have made is that of time saving. It just takes a click of a button to optimize all the clinical workflows”, says a North Dakota based health IT consultant.

Having talked about better care quality, elaborating on the value adding EMR features becomes inevitable. Today, EMRs have become a complete decision support system for physicians. The built-in preventive check mechanisms and electronic alerts readily inform physicians about any drug to drug interactions or any other fatal interactions that might result in deteriorating patient health. Another important benefit is that of increased accountability. In paper based practices, physicians could have made any errors regarding the medication prescription, whilst the EMR also eliminates the possibility of making such mistakes. Since all the details are stored electronically, there exists no chance of mishaps. The end result, of course, is better care delivery.

Furthermore, the concept of evidence based practice initiated with EMRs has completely eliminated the traditional pay-per-visit culture – making better care more affordable than ever before. While EMRs have given tremendous advantages to healthcare professionals, patient portals have played their part in allowing patient manage their health efficiently. It is a matter of convenience, without going through a lot of hassles patients can stay connected with their physicians at all times. All they need to do is login to the patient portal to schedule appointments, request refills and prescriptions, and also view lab results instantaneously.

The easy accessibility of patient portals has helped patients save both monetary and non-monetary costs, and in this case, the end result is improved care coordination between the physician and the patient.  Eventually it boils down to a single point, health IT applications like EMR and patient portals have helped achieve the aforementioned targets.

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