The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the “Federal Stimulus Program”) has put electronic medical records (also known as EMR or EHR Software) on the map like never before. Previously the product of choice for large medical organizations such as hospitals and HMOs, smaller clinics and single doctor practices are now looking at adopting EMR systems in larger numbers than ever before.
Despite reports to the contrary, EMR software isn’t just for huge organizations that benefit from “economies of scale”. In fact, smaller practices have discovered the huge advantages of EMR, and are reaping the benefits. Some these include:
- Workflow Efficiencies – It’s a fact of life: medical practices and clinics that use paper medical records rarely have experts “design” their practice workflows. Meanwhile, every electronic medical records vendor worth its salt will automatically design a workflow process that is customized to the practice when installing a new system. With greater efficiencies come more time, and we all know that time is money. electronic shops banashankari
- Space – Just like time, if there’s something the single doctor practice or clinic rarely has too much of, it’s space. Paper medical records take up space. Sometime quite a lot of it, especially in a growing practice. Meanwhile, electronic medical records are typically stored on a single database, accessible via network within the office. No longer is it necessary to dedicate a room to storing paper medical records. By computerizing, the amount of storage is greatly reduced.
- Error Reduction – Although doctors never like to admit it, they are human. Which means despite the most concentrated of efforts in diagnosis and record keeping, errors are made. Whether those errors are from improper transcription, handwriting illegibility, or miscommunication, simply put, they happen. Because EMR notes are recorded via keyboard, typos are easily seen, and a single format means that all records are consistent. Consistency reduces far more errors than most doctors assume.
- Transportability – Today’s doctor is always on the move. Long gone are the days when a practitioner is in his office 95% of the day. With outcalls, multi-practice setups and in-hospital consultations, today’s doctor needs the ability to access his patient records immediately, and often remotely. Electronic medical records accomplishes this safely, and with speed. Using a simple PDA or smart phone, a doctor can review charts, add to notes or schedule future visits – all from a remote location. The savings in courier costs alone are amazing.
- Incentives – The Federal Stimulus Program offers an additional $44,000 in Medicare rebate incentives or up to $64,000 in Medicaid for doctors that “meaningfully adopt” electronic medical records in their practices. This means, quite simply, that the Federal Government is in fact paying doctors to adopt EMR. What’s more, if you do not adopt it, your practice will encounter Medicare and Medicaid payment reductions starting in 2015.