How to Use EMRs (Electronic Medical Records)
What are EMRs (Electronic Medical Records)?
EMRs, or electronic medical records, are the digital equivalent of paper records or charts at a clinician’s office. They are also called EHRs or electronic health records. They usually contain general medical data like treatment and medical history about a patient as the individual medical practice collects it. Through EMR software, patient data can be tracked over an extended period by multiple healthcare providers. It can help identify those patients needing preventive checkups and monitor patient requirements like vaccinations and blood pressure readings. EMRs allow doctors to provide efficient and precise care.
EMR records are universal, which means that patients can have one electronic chart that can be accessed by any physician or facility using EMR software, boosting the quality and safety of care. Using an EMR system, practitioners can easily and safely prescribe medication for patients online.
The EMRs allow you to know if the patient was prescribed any medication from another physician. Physicians also have immediate access to each patient’s medical problems and conditions. Through EMR, you can give your patients safe and personalized care when you have detailed information available at your fingertips.
EMR software is designed to help patients and their families become more involved in the healthcare process. Clinical summaries are sent to patients within three business days of their visit. These clinical summaries consist of information about the care provided during the visit, medications prescribed, upcoming appointments, and other medical advice. Patients can quickly receive electronic copies of all their healthcare information upon request through EMR. Suppose they decide to change their healthcare providers; In that case, the universal electronic medical record will help give their new healthcare provider a complete understanding of their medical history and current state of health.
Types of Electronic Medical Records
Picking the right EMR system can be difficult as most EHR systems currently available do not come in a one-size-fits-all format. An Electronic Health Record system may not be inherently better than another, but one can better fit a healthcare provider’s requirements. So it is crucial to look at the types of EMR software available.
- Provider-Hosted System: Physician-hosted systems are software where all data is hosted on a physician’s servers. The provider is responsible for purchasing hardware and software and maintaining and securing the data stored. These systems are used by larger practices that can afford complex software and IT professionals. On-site servers also help speed up an EHR system and make it a more reliable source of information. This is ideal for practices that want absolute control over their data.
- Remotely-Hosted System: Remotely-hosted systems shift data storage from the physician to a third party responsible for maintenance, data backup, and security. This type of EMR software is used by smaller practices or providers who want to focus more on collecting the information instead of storing it. This remotely hosted system eliminates some of the IT headaches and safety concerns that virtual practice brings.
- Remote Systems:
Remote systems come in 3 types.
- Subsidized: A subsidized system involves a third party that subsidizes the cost of an EHR. Generally, a practitioner forms this relationship with a hospital, which then controls the data.
- Dedicated: A dedicated remote system means that physicians store EMRs on a vendor’s servers. These servers are usually in specific locations. Practitioners cannot control data storage aspects with this system.
- Cloud: Cloud systems are the most popular EMR systems. A vendor stores data in the cloud, meaning that it is always stored away somewhere secure on the internet, accessible through the vendor’s website. This is ideal for practices that can’t hire a dedicated team of IT professionals.
How to Use Electronic Medical Records Systems
EMRs can help maintain and improve your quality of care. However, transitioning from a physical system to EHRs may be difficult, there are steps in electronic medical record training you can take to become competent and confident in your use of EMRs.
When you make the leap to EMRs, remember to keep your care patient-centered instead of computer-centered. Focus on your patient, give them undivided attention and make eye contact. Doing this will help take the stress of EMR transition away from you as you focus on the patient and help you make an accurate diagnosis.
Also, continue interacting with them while you enter data into their record and encourage them to participate in the setting up of their electronic medical record. This facilitates patient engagement and increases their satisfaction with the encounter.
It is better to separate routine data entry from your time with the patient to improve efficiency and optimize patient satisfaction. Similarly, you can enter data after your patient has explained their concerns, allowing them to drive the flow of information while you direct content to clinically relevant topics. Practitioners can do this as you improve your computer and typing skills and efficiency. Another way to do this is by working with templates in your EMR software since they can significantly reduce the time required in data entry during patient visits.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.