Electronic Medical Records (Emr) Essay

3488 words - 14 pages

The Beginning: Paper Trail SlumThe medical and healthcare field is characterized with the cumbersome practice of obtaining and maintaining extensive documentation of patient information. Medical staff, physicians and healthcare practitioners are legally responsible to maintain a comprehensive, efficient as well as effective way to collect, maintain and archive patient information. Traditionally, this process of information collection and maintenance was accomplished manually resulting in an endless paper trail of information. Everything from patient encounters to informational charts to billing was executed in a paper based environment and soon this record keeping method became too overbearing and tedious to manage. The integrity of this manual paper-based process continued to be compromised with issues surrounding the convenience, data mining ability, cost and safety of this method. The ability to effectively communicate among different personnel and patients and obtain on time information was rapidly decreasing when it came to this traditional method. With the advent of technological advances and its many application, players within the medical field like in any other field, were looking for ways to be more efficient in their health care processes. A new lifeline was obtained when the introduction of the computer paved the way for more automation in this field.The computer is considered a tool to promote communication. In the medical arena, a moment between life and death or sickness and health is contingent upon communication or the lack there of. Computers have been instrumental in facilitating many areas in the management of medical records, and with its introduction into the medical field about 30 years ago, experts believed its involvement would provide several advantages in the medical profession. With a strong push to integrate the computer and technology into the administration of services within the medical field, more executives are adopting Electronic Medical Report (EMR) systems to streamline the patient record maintenance process.It's a normal trend for clinical departments to work for years with their own people, budget, and vendors to come up with a method of capturing their patient and billing data electronically, and that personalized method is one definition of an EMR. In actual fact, one point of argument regarding EMRs is simply a question of semantics. There are various definitions for an EMR. At one end of the scale, an EMR includes everything from patient's past medical history to diet and lifestyle preferences. At the other end, it can be as simple as an e-mail message to a fellow clinician. Our definition of an EMR is simply a repository of clinically important data that may be accessed and searched with relative ease and in a rapid manner. Most of us would be extremely content with something easily learned, easily understood, and relatively inexpensive.The Future: Technology's PlaygroundToday, the use of EMR systems...

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