The advancement in technology brings in newer dimensions of efficiency, effectiveness, desired results that are being achieved and attained at every front. As the healthcare industry surges ahead the healthcare sector too hasn’t shielded itself from the technological changes that had been upgrading the quality of care and management across various levels, one such area where the progression of technology has changed the traditional pattern of documentation is Electronic Medical Records (EMR) referring to a paperless, computerized system of maintaining patient data, designed to increase the efficiency and reduce documentation errors by streamlining the process.
However, contrary to its lucid definition, experts say that implementing EMR is a complex process, often Experts in this area say that implementing an EMR is primarily difficult because of two reasons, one is that the doctors (the healthcare fraternity in general) aren’t that tech savvy, however exceptions are there as always and also the way in which data is entered in and retrieved from the system.
A good EMR design should be user friendly, such that the person handling it should be able to use it in simple graphical user inter-phase, but, same time the simplicity should not be at the expense of functionality and though there are many companies offering EMR, while there are no guarantees that even an expensive EMR may be the most user friendly, local customizations have to be done in order to achieve optimum results.
Though the implementation of EMR or a complete Hospital Information System (HIS), in hospital is a complex thing but once put in place would enhance the quality, efficiency, would save a lot time and energy for both doctors and the patients, the doctors need not have to go through the entire case file and write a discharge summary looking into facts and figures, with a click, the discharge summary report can be obtained, benefit for the patient would be that they don’t have to wait for hours for getting their discharge summary and their bills settled. With the implementation of an advanced Hospital information system, the management too would be happy, as there would be optimum utilization of resources, thereby increased revenues, better control and management.
The experts in this area say that very thing that has to be kept in mind before EMR implementation is that the person in-charge of the EMR initiative should be a mix of doctor, IT professional and a visionary, otherwise even a minor bump can send things into a downward spiral. It is advised that hospitals should adopt a gradual, phased manner approach to implementing EMR and also note that all the functionalities should not be introduced at one go, thereby making it too complex for doctors, other healthcare personnel and this may lead to major change management issues.
A comprehensive EMR system can greatly improve quality of care by keeping patient records up-to-date and easily accessible, allow hospital staff to track patients needing follow-up care, hospital’s ability to help patients manage treatment of complex diseases and even allow clinicians and researchers to analyze data and long-term trends.