Converting from paper to electronic medical records is one of the strategic practices that most medical organizations are trying to implement. It is a complex process that involves taking drastic measures of leaving everything manual behind and incorporating advanced technology to handle all medical and administrative activities. Telemedicine implementation needs clinical content consultants to manage various transitioning activities.
The role of consultants is vital in every sector, as 2017 statistics show that the global consulting market was forecasted to reach $262 billion. In the medical industry, clinical content consultants are crucial to efficient operations.
There are considerable benefits of EMR, which means that clinics should push to implement various new technologies in their systems. Here are some of the reasons why clinics should consider converting their paper documents to electronic medical records.
1. Reduced Storage
It is evident that paper records require a substantial amount of space as compared to digital documents. Healthcare providers have to make sure that they keep all the records in files and maintain that information for at least six years to abide by healthcare regulations. This means that a lot of files and papers will be in the stores of the clinic and they will need the necessary labor to store and retrieve them. Electronic records reduce clutter and provide a systematic way of keeping patients’ information. A simple desktop computer can hold all the information of the patients visiting a particular clinic.
2. Improved Accuracy
Converting paper to electronic health records is one of the strategic policies that health facilities are using to improve overall efficiency. Illegible handwriting and incomplete documentation are some of the standard medical errors in a paper-based medical record system. Such errors cause a lot of inefficiencies in the operation of a clinic and could even grow to legal issues. Electronic records have high levels of accuracy and have features that ensure all necessary information has been filled in. Some systems come with edits as well and they will authorize the user to edit some details if the record is suspected not to be accurate.
3. Reduced Operational Cost
At any given time, the ultimate goal of a healthcare facility is to optimize its operations by maximizing profits and minimizing cost. Therefore, any addition that may lower the cost of operations is highly appreciated. Clinical content consultants play a huge role in helping organizations to cut operational costs. With a consultant, the cost of incorporating electronic records will be significantly lower, and the company will be able to enjoy sufficient benefits in the short term and the long term.
4. Ease of Access
Paper storage facilities are one of the most frustrating places to work, especially when trying to locate a particular file. Unless there is an efficient, systematic way of naming the files, it will always be a problem to trace a specific document. However, with electronic medical records, access and retrieval are virtually unlimited. Physicians can easily access the file of a particular patient and trace his or her medical history in minutes. The whole experience becomes even better when physicians in other departments can add details to a patient’s portal in the comfort of their office. They do not have to move about and get the paper file for updates.
5. Security of Medical Records
One of the benefits of telemedicine for patients is that it ensures high levels of security to their medical records. A rogue person with sinister motives can easily alter medical details on a paper document by erasing and writing new information. Rodents can also destroy medical records, especially in a less-than-clean store. Although electronic medical records have varying levels of vulnerabilities, their security is highly guaranteed through several layers of safety, making EMR records safer and more secure.
As highlighted above, there are several benefits that both patients and clinical facilities will gain by incorporating electronic health records. However, as a clinical health officer, you cannot ignore the role of clinical content consultants in the entire process of integrating digital health records.