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Electronic Medical Records Shaping the Future of Care Provision

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital solutions across a plethora of industries, and healthcare is no exception. Electronic medical records that are growingly used in today’s digitalised environment have revamped the way patients’ data is stored and processed.

What is the electronic medical record?

Electronic medical records, or EMR, are digitised versions of paper medical records on hardware or cloud. EMRs are used to gather patients’ health information, including medical history, treatment plans, medications, allergies, previous visits, test results, and more. A doctor can’t know each patient’s medical data; EMR ensures all the information required to provide better care is readily available with a touch of a finger.

More and more hospitals and healthcare practitioners prefer digital records rather than paper-based documents and turn to EMR software development providers for help. According to Statista, the global electronic health record (EHR) systems market was estimated at $29 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $ 47 billion by 2027.

EMR and EHR are usually used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. Both EMR and EHR systems are used for the same purpose to record and handle specific medical information; however, EHRs can be shared among different medical institutions while EMRs cannot. Within the framework of this article, these two notions are used interchangeably.

Most common use cases of electronic medical records

With a promising potential EMR system can be successfully implemented to streamline medical information management and enhance healthcare processes. Let’s walk through the essential applications of digital records systems.

  • Arranging appointments. For example, a patient wants to book an appointment. In that case, a clinic usually requires certain information before a visit – from the name of the patient and their date of birth to blood type and chronic diseases, etc. So if the person is visiting a hospital for the first time, a medical representative can enter all the necessary information into the system for further use. If the information is available, a medical representative can add the appointment. After the appointment is created in the system, it is visible for both a doctor and a patient.
  • Document outcomes of a visit. After the examination, a doctor can establish the diagnosis, indicate symptoms and describe further treatment. The results of a doctor’s visit filled in the electronic records system can be further used to treat patients, form a bill for a patient or get reimbursed by insurance.
  • Prescribe treatment. After a physical examination and an established diagnosis, a doctor can prescribe medications for a patient. EMRs include all the necessary information about medication regimens, such as drug name, duration of its intake, quantity, refills and others. If a prescribed medication is incompatible with a drug a patient is taking, the system will notify a doctor to prescribe another medication.

Key benefits of digital medical records

The EMR system bring multiple benefits for medical industry; it designed to enhance the experience for healthcare providers and patients. Here are some advantages of EMRs implementation:

  • Standardised entire medical history. EMR system collects updated patients’ health history and test results. These records are compiled according to a template so that everyone that has access to it can quickly capture key information.
  • Remote access. With digital records, medical information about patients can be accessed via any device from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Moreover, the data can be presented to several different users simultaneously.
  • Enable safer prescribing. A medical practitioner can better treat a patient using the information about the patient’s allergies to a particular drug, previous medical problems and compatibility with medications from other doctors.
  • Better records management. EMRs take minimum physical space and are quick to locate via digital search in comparison to paper records. EMR systems can save only those records that contain all the necessary information, while paper versions can be incomplete. Moreover, the data copied from one paper record to another can be lost, or handwriting can be illegible.
  • Streamlined operations. Electronic systems optimise many routine processes such as tests ordering and billing. It displays the necessary data about what a patient’s insurance policy covers. Moreover, once information is entered into the system, it reduces the possibility of duplicating it by another medical representative.
  • Safer storage. Paper records are considered a less safe storage system because documents can be lost, misplaced, destroyed, or stolen. Digital records can have back-ups, be encrypted, and be accessed only with credentials provided to authorised users to secure data against any possible damage.
  • Enhanced patients care. With all the medical information about a patient available at the tips of the fingers, including ongoing health issues, medical conditions, lab results, healthcare providers can establish diagnoses more seamlessly and prescribe better treatment.

Final thoughts

Technology has been a crucial part of the healthcare sector for years, and it will only continue to enhance the delivery of medical care. By building and implementing more digital health records systems, doctors, hospitals, and other medical institutions will better understand the efficiency of new vaccines and medications, improve collaboration and provide better healthcare for everyone.

Author: Olha Zhydik

Olha Zhydik is a Content Marketing Manager at ELEKS, a global custom software development company. Olha has been working in the IT industry for over 10 years, including 6 years in marketing. Thanks to her diverse experience, her writing offers a fresh perspective on how technology can help businesses not only innovatively solve problems but also gain a competitive edge. You can connect with Olha on Linkedin or Facebook