Electronic medical records are also known as (EMRs) are a substantial effort by the modern healthcare organizations to standardize the documentation of the medical bills, prevent any error, charting and billing details to be concise and clear, and obtain an efficient and best outcome for the patients.
EMRs have revolutionized the medical field but to be honest electronic medical records pros and cons cannot be negated. Healthcare providers and medical experts have mixed feelings regarding electronic medical records. A few doctors are of the opinion that their workload has increased after the introduction of electronic medical records.
The intention behind the introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs) is good but it often leaves the physicians, doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff frustrated.
Let’s read in detail what is meant by electronic medical records?
What is meant by electronic medical records?
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a name given to a system that is an electronic version of the patient’s charts containing the medical history of the patient at one health practitioner’s office. This helps the physician to track down the data of all the treatments such as past vaccinations, blood pressures, the due checkups in the future, etc.
The EMRs were introduced in order to increase the quality of the said healthcare practice.
It is very important for a healthcare organization manager to evaluate the benefits of the EMRs as well as the attached drawbacks with this new generic software to calculate and maintain the patient’s data. The manager should evaluate all the pros and cons before installing the system in his said organization as well as training the staff to use it.
Keep in mind that once electronic medical records (EMRs) have been installed in your system, it needs to be completely integrated with the system in order to start working and performing.
However, electronic medical records pros and cons cannot be denied. Like everything else, the EMRs come with their own set of pros and cons which both can be utilized in a given healthcare organization.
Pros of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
Financial freedom and opportunities
A healthcare organization needs to get its system updated to a generic software to have computerized medical records of their patients. This will let the organization obtain substantial financial incentives from Medicaid and Medicare as the government wants to encourage the healthcare organizations to start using the computerized software to attain efficiency.
The government is encouraging medical institutes to promote the usage of EMRs in their organizations.
The usage of EMRs will bring financial opportunities like getting incentives from Medicaid or Medicare and apart from that financial freedom also as the EMRs will record the cash flow exactly. This will enable the healthcare organization to have value-based incentives like the support of the latest generic software in the patient-centered medical home model.
Templates & samples
One of the biggest pros of electronic medical records is the already designed samples and templates for different case scenarios. These templates are available to be used readily. They can be used for general practice or encounters with the patients. The staff is trained beforehand in order to put the correct information in these templates to update the record.
The templates are available for special cases also such as oncology, gynecology, and other appointments and the visits of the patients to the specific physicians.
Access to the patient portal
Another way to use electronic medical records and save time is by updating and activating the patient portal on the EMRs. This will help in saving time as well as boosting patient engagement also. It will help the patient to know their own information with the help of a computer at home or in the waiting area of the clinic.
This will help you from removing all kinds of redundant details on the paper. Everything will become digitized. No extra effort is required to input on the system once it is updated on the EMRs.
Patient portals proved to be vital and valuable when the United States of America was coping with the harrowing shadows of the coronavirus pandemic. The patient portals helped in monitoring the patients from their homes and the centers of disease control reported that this telehealth modal helped them in securing and forwarding messages, images, and data to all the encrypted patient portals.
It was very important to work on a patient portal because of the lockdown and the social distancing mandate. The exposure in the waiting area was cut down and the wastage of time was also saved by filling out the forms and details online.
Cons of electronic medical records (EMRs)
If you have integrated electronic medical records (EMRs) in your healthcare organization and are computerizing the records of your patients, you need to be very careful to secure this data. It is very much possible that unauthorized means can get access to this confidential data. There are a lot of cons also attached to this system. Let’s look at some of these cons of EMRs.
Failure to provide timely updates
One of the most potential cons of electronic medical records (EMRs) is that it might happen that the developer does not update it on time and the important updates miss out to be filled on time.
One of the ways to keep the EMRs working is by implementing automatic updates so that the EMRs of patients are up-to-date but for this, a cloud-based solution is required. For the time being a developer needs to keep on updating the system on a regular basis.
The most potential con of Electronic Medical Records which hesitates the health workers to integrate them into their system is the exercise of criminal activity that might let them lose sensitive data of their patients as well as of the organization.
For instance, if the digital system of a healthcare organization faces a ransomware attack, then there is a possibility that they might hack the data which is sensitive and crucial both at the same time.
The hackers can hold the data and release it after receiving money or ransom, even cryptocurrency in order to hide their track record.
On the other hand, if the patients’ details go missing, the work progress automatically slows down. If the news is leaked to the public, then the organization will lose its credibility and reputation.
To address these issues, it is very important to work with IT professionals in order to safeguard your system by installing security tools and firewalls. This IT protection will help you in case of emergencies as well as protect you from any kind of attack or malware also.
No up-gradation regarding industrial practice
The developers may not upgrade the EMRs according to industrial practice and government rules and regulations. This may happen if the developer has been using an old version of software to update your system or does not want to update the system according to the software industry practice.
It is very important to carefully select an EMRs software developer who has a track record and is an expert in the industry.
If the system is not according to the industrial practice or government regulation then it will not be inducted into the system of government and no incentives will be given.
After carefully analyzing the electronic medical records pros and cons it is important to understand the true meaning of the installation of electronic medical records (EMRs). This insight will let you understand how important it is to integrate the healthcare organization with the government setup of the software industry.
There are chances that after weighing the electronic medical records pros and cons you might not want to induct them into the digital system but after a few years, it will become mandatory to work on the digital outlet as all of the data and system would have shifted to it, making the manual entry system obsolete.
So, before that happens, weigh your pros and cons and make decisions timely and efficiently.