The EMR Debate: The Pros and Cons of Electronic Medical Records
Medical records administrators do a lot of work—from patient charting to medicine charting, and all the ancillary documentation, you can sometimes get lost in the paperwork. So what are the concerns and benefits of the public with adoption of the electronic health record (EHR)? Is transitioning from paper to electronic medical records (EMR) documentation worth it? Here, we list down some EHR/EMR pros and cons.
What are electronic medical records?
EMRs are the digital version of a patient’s record. This contains a patient’s medical and treatment history in a particular practice over time.
With electronic documentation, you are able to sort out patient care tasks efficiently. This includes scheduling appointments, arranging follow-ups, updating medical tests, and writing prescriptions.
You may also optimize usage of EMRs with EHR systems (see Differences Between EMR and EHR). For those in the behavioral health, mental health, and addiction sector, there is Zoobook.
What are the benefits of electronic medical records?
- With the standardization of files via EMR, access is streamlined making it more efficient to manage internal operations. There will also be fewer documentation errors in a patient’s file due to misspellings or illegible handwriting.
- Records are consolidated into one system with customizable features. Depending on your EHR, this may mean the patient’s medical history, billing information, and even staff member records are all kept in one place.
- Backup systems are in place, making it less likely for files to be destroyed or lost.
- Since all the patient’s medical records are in one place, it’s hard to omit patient information, especially if you’re relaying details from one health worker to another.
- As you keep up with the digital world, medical information is more accessible for you and the patient. Passwords and other safety features help to secure patient privacy.
What are the disadvantages of electronic medical records?
- Time-consuming documentation processes might be why electronic medical records are bad. Converting paperwork into EMR can really take a lot of time. Choose an EHR with smart tools to help you with patient intake.
- Not all the members of your staff can work a computer well. This is when user interface and user experience comes into place. Make sure you choose an EHR system that knows how clinicians work.
- With the switch from paper to digital, updating computer hardware may be more frequent. Some would think that this is what the greatest risk of facing electronic health records is. Is it a risk you’re willing to take to get all the above benefits?
- There can be configuration challenges such as being unable to create templates for each area of practice. It is best to have a system built specifically for your health sector.
- There’s a lot of money involved in upgrading from paper to EMR. Aside from upgrading hardware, there’s also the cost of the software. Make sure you choose one that can cater to your needs while keeping it in your budget.
With the advent of a modern solution, medical records administrators shouldn’t be burdened with the distress of patient charting, medicine charting, and other on-paper tasks. And although there are concerns, there are also benefits with public adoption of EMR. In going through this article of EMR pros and cons, there are definitely a lot of things to consider. But one thing’s for sure—transitioning from paper to EMR is a lot easier with an EHR like Zoobook Systems.
Are you ready to go paperless?
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