How to Update Your Practice With Electronic Medical Records
The onward march of technology means that new advances are constantly hitting the consumer marketplace. As a business owner, you can’t necessarily afford to spend beaucoup bucks on every new device or program that becomes available.
Because you own and operate a medical practice, however, it is important to spot technological trends that are relevant to your particular industry and that have the ability to revolutionize your business for the better. With the many advances in health informatics in recent years, you can’t afford to ignore this burgeoning technology any longer.
Sure, paper charts do the job, but these days patients want online access to medical records, and sharing information with other healthcare providers via an online database ensures the best possible medical care for patients. In other words, it’s time to update your practice.
There are many ways in which transitioning from paper charts to electronic medical records (EMR) can update your practice. Here are a few tips on how to go about it.
Transitioning from Paper Charts
Transitioning to EMR can definitely cut costs and increase efficiency in the long run, but the process is likely to be arduous. With years of medical records to digitize, the task can seem daunting.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to burden your already-busy staff with this task. When you’re searching for proper hardware and software upgrades, you’ll find that many vendors also offer a variety of services relating to EMR.
As a result, you can not only gain access to platforms for online databases and secure information sharing, but you may also have the option to pay a service to digitize your backlog of paper charts. If you’re worried about your ability to undertake this massive project on your own, you’ll be happy to hear that help is available.
Choosing the Right Software
When updating to an EMR system, there are a couple of things to consider where software is concerned. Whether you decide to add new hardware to the mix or not, your EMR software needs to be compatible with your hardware.
In addition, you must consider sharing capabilities. One of the many benefits of EMR systems is that they allow access to information for both patients and others in the healthcare community.
This sharing could allow you and other doctors access to a patient’s entire medical history, including ER and clinical visits. You can see test results, diagnoses, treatments, and everything you need to know to make your own diagnosis and properly treat your patient.
In addition, patients can access their own medical records, allowing them the opportunity to participate more fully in their own healthcare. However, this access will depend to an extent on the software you choose and whether or not it’s compatible with what other hospitals and practices in your area are using.
Providing Secure Access
No matter who is accessing medical records, it is your responsibility to ensure that patient information is protected, in keeping with federal and state privacy laws, as well as HIPAA requirements. In other words, you need to take pains to ensure that the EMR system you choose offers the highest level of security.