Electronic Medical Records (EMR/EHR)
The old days are about to disappear in which doctors handwrite their patient charts and assistants then sort and file them into thousands of folders, one for each patient, to be stored in filing cabinets. More and more doctors are open to the digitalization of the entire medical record process.
This makes complete sense because paper records are the bane of the medical office. Handwritten paper medical records are cumbersome, difficult to read, easy to lose, even easier to misfile, and often end up being incomplete. And each time a patient comes in, there’s the time wasted in finding the files and re-filing them at the end of the visit.
In contrast, an EMR system makes the entire process of patient record-keeping easier, more accurate and comprehensive, and more efficient. With an EMR system, doctors use specialized software that allows them to enter their patient records electronically. The software stores the patient information on a server and each patient’s complete history is available instantly, including digitized copies of x-rays, lab results, prescriptions ordered, and other necessary medical data. Physicians can use their desktop, laptop, or an electronic clipboard-type computer to navigate through their patient charts and record notes. EMR software also coordinates with their medical billing software, including Stagton Practice Management’s MedOffice, such as transferring diagnosis and procedural codes in order to facilitate the billing process after each patient visit.
According to some EMR software companies, only about 10 percent of doctors in practices with 10 or fewer providers, currently keep their records electronically. However, as doctors realize that paper records cost them far too much and as privacy and confidentiality laws (such as those in HIPAA) increasingly makes it difficult for doctors to run a paper-based practice, health care providers are beginning to see the benefit of using a reliable and easily integrated EMR software.
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