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How do health care facilities use electronic (or computerized) medical records (EMR)?
Health-care facilities, such as Partners Health-Care use EMRs (Electronic medical records) to boost patient safety, manage chronic illnesses, and improve the efficiency of their practice. The EMR technology used at Partners HealthCare is secure. It gives their caregivers the same complete health information of a patient so that he or she receives safe and coordinated care. And, when doctors prescribe drugs through the EMR, drug allergies and drug interactions can be prevented. The EMR tool can also prescribe cost-effective drugs, when appropriate, to save everyone money.
Advantages of EMR are:
1) Share patient information everywhere assessment, diagnosis and treatment decisions occur.
2) Reduce costs by shortening billing cycles and other core administrative and clinical operations - including storage and copying costs of medical records.
3) Direct data entry by clinicians and staff greatly reduces transcription costs. Direct links to a transcription system also saves time.
4) Create higher quality documentation (auditable, legible and organized charts and records).
5) Document visits to a consistent level of quality service.
The disadvantages of EMRs that pose a significant risk to patients include the following:
• Privacy: Many are concerned with the vulnerability and sensitivity of electronic records and others having access to their health information.
• Accuracy: Who will be in charge of viewing, interpreting and entering health data into the system?
Two challenges faced when implementing a universal EMR system are: 1) How to effectively manage this complex enterprise solution 2) How to provide high application performance over the wide-area network (WAN) without adding expensive T1 lines.