When considering the use of EMRs, we’re quick to think about how they’d affect the workflow in our organization or practice. However, it’s also important to consider the many ways in which EMRs can improve patient care. Today, let’s talk about some of those.
This is one of the greatest advantages of EMR systems. Information sharing saves physicians time they’d otherwise spend communicating information to other offices. But it also ensures that, as patients travel from one appointment to another, their medical information travels with them. What saves you time saves the patient time, as well. Patients appreciate how information sharing enables them to efficiently share their medical records when they move, change providers, or see a specialist.
Long wait times are a top complaint among patients. EMRs can drastically improve this issue within your practice. This is in part because they simplify processes and increase efficiency, but timestamping is another important factor. When we use paper-based systems, we often think we’re keeping more accurate track of wait times than we actually are. Time stamping provides well-documented metrics on every patient, so you’ll be able to see how often you’re missing your target wait time, and you can identify problematic patterns and address them, as well.
Using an EMR is like having the Physician’s Desk Reference in your hand at all times. You’ll be able to quickly and easily check for interactions when prescribing medication. Equally valuable, because of the information sharing we discussed earlier, Emergency Room staff will know about important details of a patient’s record (like life-threatening allergies). This is invaluable when a patient is confused or can’t communicate.
All of this connectivity provides robust support for physicians. When you have a patient’s medical history, insurance eligibility, and test results at your fingertips, you have all the puzzle pieces you need to make the most accurate diagnosis. What’s more, by using EMRs, you may save your patient’s life when you’re not the one providing care. Your detailed records could lead to a specialist making the correct diagnosis when they might otherwise have missed something crucial.
Healthcare organizations that use EMRs are up to 30 times faster than paper-based practices when it comes to identifying a need for follow-up care. EMRs makes it easy to review patient records faster, and that’s a win for everyone. Further, EMRs are great for keeping up-to-date and easy-to-access patient contacts, so when you realize you need to reach out to a patient, it’s easy to do.