Benefits of Electronic Medical Records

The main benefits of electronic medical records (EMRs) are saving money and improving patient care. Not only do individual patients benefit, but also the the entire healthcare system does as well, since information is easily shared among all parties who need access.

Among the many benefits of electronic medical records:

  • Medical records are easy to share among healthcare providers, which contributes to better decision making and quality of care for the patient.
  • Multiple users can access patient records with individual passwords, providing security and accountability since records are created as to who accessed specific patient information.
  • Cost savings are realized when administrative tasks are reduced or eliminated such as making copies of records, sending information securely to other healthcare providers, and searching for information.
  • The quality of medical records is improved with increased legibility and accuracy. This also reduces the potential for omissions or errors, thereby improving patient care.
  • Patient information is up to date with no waiting for records to be updated by hand or transcribed. Any test results can be entered as soon as they are available.
  • Duplicate medical testing can be avoided by having all the patient's medical history available in one place, delivering cost savings to the patient.
  • Drug allergies and interactions can be quickly identified and avoided.
  • Patient prescriptions can be sent electronically to the pharmacy, increasing accuracy by eliminating transcription errors or legibility issues.

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More Benefits of Electronic Medical Records

  • The HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act), passed by the Federal Government in 2009, may provide financial incentives for adoption of EMRs.
  • Transferring patient records to a new medical provider is easier than traditional paper records.
  • Medical billing or practice management software can be integrated with EMRs and allowing patient and treatment information to be shared and transmitted when processing insurance claims and patient statements.
  • In the future, EMRs will likely become requierd at the Federal and State levels in order to participate in data exchanges, take advantage of financial incentives, and avoid penalties.
  • EMRs minimize personnel costs through the reduction in data entry.
  • Medical professionals are able to see more patients and spend more time with them due to time saved.
  • More accurate, higher levels of coding can be achieved.

All of these many benefits contribute to the most important goal of all medical professionals: improved patient care.

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