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What Is an EMR Program?

Article Details
  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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An electronic medical record (EMR) software program organizes medical data so physicians, patients, and medical administrative staff can easily access the information they need. Patient charts can be accessed with an EMR program in seconds and from any computer in a medical facility. If the system is connected to the Internet, anybody authorized for access can attain the information from anywhere. The software also keeps online records of surgery, diagnosis, treatment, and prescriptions.

One of the major benefits of an EMR program is that there are no handwritten notes that need to be searched for in file cabinets. The problem of deciphering hard-to-read handwriting is eliminated, so pharmacies do not misinterpret prescriptions for important medications. Facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes do not face the costs associated with creating and tracking paper medical charts.

As data is consolidated and available anywhere, an EMR program also allows different care providers to see patient records, regardless of what kind of doctor they go to. All users can access billing data, codes for diagnostics, and encyclopedic information on health conditions. Medical billing is also simplified because information from billing services and on the status of patient payments is securely stored on disk or online.

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A computerized medical record can be synchronized with online data. Since all of these data from different patients are electronically stored, it is much harder for physicians and administrative staff to make mistakes. If data are backed up regularly, this makes the system even more secure. Off-site storage of data backups ensures that vital information is not lost if a fire or other disaster occurs at the facility site.

Switching to the use of an EMR program can be a challenge for health care providers. The initial implementation can be expensive in the beginning, but saves on costs and time in the long run. Time will be saved on looking for records, and the expenses associated with using and maintaining printers and copy machines are minimized. The implementation process can be achieved in stages to make the transition easier for staff and to break down the cost over time.

All of the benefits are realized more quickly if the EMR program is implemented all at once. The confusion of having two different systems is avoided as well. Computerized health care records make things much easier in a medical office and also optimize the communications between all parties in any health care setting.

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