Electronic Health Care Records & EMR Software

What’s the big deal about electronic health care records? And why should medical practices and hospitals consider electronic medical records (EMR) software? We heard about a paperless society for years now and that’s the point of electronic health care records and EMR software. Electronic health care records offer many benefits in terms of cost reductions, more comprehensive and centralized medical records, the ability to back up electronic health care records to reduce loss of records, and faster access to vital medical information in cases of medical emergency which could save patients lives.EMR software has the ability to automate processes that were previously manual and took a lot of time so they will increase the productivity of any hospital or medical practice. For example, EMR software eliminates the need to keep paper medical records in filing cabinets where they can be misfiled or even lost in some cases. With EMR software, each patient’s electronic health care record is available at that click of a mouse.EMR software solutions allow for patient data to be entered directly into the system and can work in conjunction with diagnostic systems to boost office productivity even further. The lack of paper and ability to input information directly into the EMR software makes the data more accurate. There is a much reduced issue with deciphering illegible handwriting since the information is typed in and easily readable. Hospitals and medical practices with EMR software solutions also pay reduced malpractice premiums. Patients can even access their electronic health care records and make appoints through a website.Electronic health care records are not without their detractors specifically privacy advocates. EMR software makes it very simple to remotely access electronic health care records and even to disseminate a person’s entire medical history at the click of a button similar to how simple it is to send and receive email. Privacy advocates raise concerns about this ease of access to electronic health care records.They argue that employers and insurance companies can too easily gain access to private information and use to discriminate in make decisions. Insurance companies may deny coverage to individuals they deem to be high risk based on information obtained in electronic health care records. Similarly, employers may make hiring and/or promotion decisions based on medical information. Perhaps individuals with past substance abuse problems would be denied employment or a promotion for example.So just like with many technological advancements, there are two sides of the story with electronic health care records. One the hand, EMR software can increase productivity, reduce costs, and save lives but detractors argue that electronic health care records are too accessible and rife for abuse by employers and insurance companies. Which side will win remains to be seen.