More About Electronic Medical Records
Electronic Medical Records are much easier and safer to share than antiquated paper files. Even so, doctors and hospitals have been slow to make the change from physical to digital filing systems. Why is this? Contrary to popular belief, human beings are not all that adventurous. Most are wary of change and will do their utmost to avoid it. They prefer familiar devices and practices they are comfortable with, even if the alternative is evidently superior.
That mindset is acceptable when it doesn’t endanger your health. If you prefer an old cell phone to a smart phone or a CRT television to a flat screen, it makes little matter. But Electronic Medical Records are another story. They provide increased storage capabilities and greater efficiencies for medical professionals and their patients.
Of course, efficiency and storage capacity are not the only advantages. From groups to individual patients, an electronic filing system makes it easier to locate and share important information, such as blood type, prescribed drugs, medical history, conditions, and much, much more. Whether electronic or paper, these files are quite comprehensive and can contain dozens, even hundreds of pages. For the patient, the benefits are undeniable.
Every time a patient visits a new doctor or dentist, he/she is asked to fill out a sheaf of medical forms. The process can take several minutes to complete and there may be information the patient does not know. This awkward and time-consuming routine can be eliminated if the patient has Electronic Medical Records on file. The doctor can access them from any internet-enabled device, and make the necessary changes as needed. This helps ensure that your medical records will be accurate and up-to-date.
It is also important to note that fewer file drawers and paper charts reduce the risk of losing or misfiling vital information. Furthermore, it virtually (pun intended) eliminates the risk that your records will be lost in a flood or fire or other natural disaster. Errors are also kept in check, since computer records are much easier to read than handwriting.
Even though we always expect more of them, doctors are only human. Moreover, they are extremely busy humans. They may not have the time to explain what’s going on with each patient they refer to another doctor or specialist. As a result, the next doctor may order the same diagnostic tests that the last one completed. This is a fairly common, duplicate work occurs because medical professionals often keep separate charts, and sometimes they forget to share them.
Access to Electronic Medical Records not only saves patients time and money on tests, they can also be the difference between life and death. How? In an emergency situation, there is no time to retrieve your medical records from your personal physician, even if his office is nearby. The ER doctor must then rely on the information he receives firsthand, or from your relatives. This information is notoriously unreliable, since people have a hard time keeping a cool head in an emergency. But if your records are available electronically, the doctor can access them in a trice. This will invariably improve the treatment he/she provides, while at the same time reducing the risk of error to you, the patient.