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What Are the Benefits of EMR?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sarah Kay Moll
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Electronic medical records (EMR) are a way for physicians and other health care professionals to electronically store and access patient data. The benefits of EMR in a health care setting include saving money and improving the efficiency and safety of patient care. EMR can also be a tool physicians use to prevent and manage chronic disease. These electronic records also makes it easy to gather data for educational and research purposes.

One of the largest benefits of EMR is that they can help medical practices save money. EMR can improve physicians’ utilization of lab and radiology tests, as well as making it less likely for a test to be ordered more than once. The records can decrease billing errors and make the billing process more efficient by having physicians make diagnoses according to billing codes. Malpractice costs may also decrease with the implementation of EMR.

In addition to streamlining the billing process, another one of the benefits of EMR is that they can make medical practices more efficient. Many patients see more than one physician, for example a general practitioner and a specialist. EMR make communication between different physicians in different practices much easier, which prevents physicians from ordering tests or procedures that have already been done.

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EMR may also be a way for hospitals to improve safety. EMR systems may have built-in warning systems. For example, if a physician prescribes a medication that conflicts with another medication a patient is taking, the EMR system can warn that doctor. This type of safety check can decrease mistakes in a medical practice.

Chronic diseases are a huge medical expense. Another one of the benefits of EMR is that they can be a useful tool in the prevention and care of chronic diseases such as diabetes. EMR systems can take into account information about a patient such as age and gender and recommend appropriate screenings. The EMR system can remind both the patient and the doctor about necessary procedures, screenings, and check-ups.

Using an EMR system means that a health care practice will have all of its data recorded electronically. This can be very useful for researchers who are looking at different types of medical conditions and treatments. This information can also be used in an educational capacity.

There are many benefits of EMR, however, there are also some drawbacks to using this type of system. It can take a long time for medical professionals to learn how to use an EMR system, and storing patient data electronically raises privacy concerns and worries about who will be able to access patient charts. In addition, the standardized format of many EMR systems means that the individual nuances of each patient can get lost as doctors must conform their notes to a standard system.

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