Electronic health records are a vital part of the health IT, and the meaningful use program offers financial incentives for providers who adopt EMR technology. According to a recent survey by the American Hospital Association in conjunction with CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics in 2010, more than 80% of the healthcare centers and approximately 41% of office-based physicians were already in the process to achieve meaningful use and qualify for incentive payments.
Healthcare providers and hospitals have until 2015 to demonstrate “meaningful use” of the EMR or else, lose a portion of the federal medical reimbursement. Ultimately, EMR system will result in a seamless and better integration of the medical records across all healthcare organizations.
In the article below, we look at the several distinct benefits of implementing electronic medical records.
1) Better patient care
EMR enable a streamlined access to the patient medical records, meaning that no more filling out the same paperwork at each doctor’s office. Every provider has unlimited access to all the patient’s diagnostic test, along with all the prior medications.
The coordination among the providers means that patients will not have to undergo the misery of duplicative testing or imaging. Also, it translates to more accurate diagnosis, better management of chronic conditions and better overall care of the patient, which underlines the core focus of healthcare services.
2) Reduced storage
Just like any other industry, the administrative duties of the healthcare services represent a significant amount of costs and time. Healthcare staff often spends a huge portion of their workdays filling out forms.With the EMR transitioning healthcare providers from cabinets to cloud storage, some of the administrative tasks have been streamlined to paperless routine, which has consequently decreased the storage need. Also, the digital footprint of the EMR has seen the providers have less cluttered paces.
3) Increased quality care
Unlike the traditional systems, electronic medical records in hospitals offer a platform to exchange complete healthcare information about a patient in real time. With accurate, up to date and thorough information on the provider’s fingertips, providers will naturally offer better quality care.
The convenience of the electronic medical records in hospitals is probably one of the unique benefits of the whole fabric. With an EMR, both providers and patients are a virtually connected like it is face to face. For instance, electronic prescribing allows providers to communicate directly with the pharmacy, which reduces errors and saves time by eliminating lost prescriptions.
5) Centralization of healthcare
By leveraging on a centralized chart management and quick access to patient information, providers can access information about a patient from anywhere as a complete package.
Challenges of EMR Implementation
Even though the use of HER has numerous benefits, having the time, resources and cooperation for a successful HER implementation can be challenging. Here are some of the common hurdles that any provider can expect.
-Garnering support from the hospital executives
Some of the providers will simply refuse to accept the new technology, either because they are intimidated by it or are not convinced the technology will change the way of doing things. Therefore, you need to convince them the benefits of such a system.
-Training your staff
Scheduling training session can be tough, given that they have more than enough workload to contend with. The trick here is to designate as select few who are willing to dedicate their time and energy and will later serve as ambassadors of the system.
Even after careful planning, some of the providers still find that the technology does not provide the functionality they need and underlines the Importance of IT consulting for Healthcare industry before making any decision. Experts in the IT healthcare industry will assess your needs, conduct a pilot test on your facility, and recommend an ideal system that caters to all your needs.
Other challenges include;
-Support team-based care
-Training super users
– Identifying an EMR physician advocate
Despite the challenges, the benefits associated with EHR are innumerable; both for the providers and patients. Professional service provider not only works with healthcare providers but also physicians, vendors, and policymakers to drive EHR improvements that can advance the delivery of ultra-efficient, high-quality and affordable care.