The US healthcare industry is looking forward to many technological and industry based implementations in the forth coming years. With the deadline fast approaching for ICD10, HIPAA 5010 Compliance, ACO program and EMR implementation, hospitals & healthcare organizations are busy working out plans for smooth transition of these ventures. ICD10 and ACO implementations are being anticipated with the view to improve quality of healthcare in the US.
In line with this, EMR is also considered as an amazing product of technology that can help physicians provide better care to their patients and manage their clinical and administrative functions effectively. Though there is a strong need to implement EMR and pressure from the government, there is resistance prevailing in the industry for adopting it, due to various reasons. Good understanding of the EMR is essential in order to accept the transition from paper records to EMR.
Well, you need to know what an EMR is and how it’s different from EHR:
EMR: It’s an application that is a complete repository of patients’ clinical documents. It contains patients’ medical history, the summary of all visits, observations and treatment rendered within a Care Delivery Organization.
EHR: If the medical history of patients is made accessible across multiple CDOs within a locality or across states, then it is looked upon as electronic health record
Types of EMR:
Based on the technical feasibility, EMR is classified in to various types namely, SaaS Based, Client Based & Hybrid Model. Depending upon your practice requirements, you have to choose the best suiting EMR by consulting with the solution provider.
Essential Features of EMR:
The features of EMR may vary depending upon the brand you opt for. Compare the features of various EMRs and make sure that your EMR is equipped with the basic features to run your practice smoothly. There are specialty specific EMRs available that can be more flexible for your needs.
Main Advantages of adopting EMR/EHR
EMR has numerous advantages that can benefit your day-day functions:
- Legibility of notes
- Great features corresponding to charts
- Drug & allergy interactions
- Electronic Prescriptions
- Disaster Recovery
Main reasons for physicians to resist implementation of EMR:
- Cost factors associated with EMR
- Fear of losing productive hours during transition time
- Pressure to develop new skills
- Time factor associated with analyzing, comparing and choosing the best EMR for their practice
Why you need EMR: EMR usage has resulted in remarkable benefits for the physicians.
- Improved work flow & greater accuracy in process
- Enhanced network with patients, labs and drug stores
- Reduced medication errors due to drug allergy interaction alerts
- Increased safety for patient records
- Better drug refill capabilities
- Tools integrated with EMR and its extensive reporting features enables better clinical decision making
Adopting EMR- Incentives & penalties:
The US government insists implementation of EMR for betterment of practice performance and quality in healthcare. It has also fixed up good incentives for physicians who take up EMR and heavy penalties for those who don’t. So, if you have not started with EMR, it’s good that you start now. You get multiple benefits by satisfying government’s requirements on ‘meaningful use of EMR’. So, taking up EMR can be highly profitable for your practice in a long run.
For smooth transition from Paper records to EMR:
- Discuss with an ‘EMR clinical informatics consultant’ in order to clearly understand your requirements with EMR and how to make the transition more effective
- Homework before you start with EMR. The product you choose will decide the performance of your practice. So, analyze the different EMR products available in the industry, their features, cost factors – pricing model, usability and success ratio before going for one.
- Implementation of EMR is dependent on several technology factors – So, make sure that you have other technical requirements satisfied to implement EMR
- EMR is becoming a must. So, be well informed of the operability & features in order to keep pace with the usual dynamism of your work.
- Monitor the changes continuously after the implementation of EMR
Researches done with the healthcare organizations that have implemented EMR prove that there is an overall improvement in efficiency, quality of care and patient services. Implementing a best suited EMR for your practice can translate into supreme quality at work and eventually, satisfied patients.