The paper-based records have been there for many years and within more than twenty years ago, there has been the gradual replacement of the paper-based records by the records that are computer-based and this replacement has been slow and gradual. The level of penetration by the information systems that are computerized in the health care sector has not been as high as the penetration in other sectors like manufacturing, finance, and transport among other sectors.
Regarding the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), national penetration may have gone up to 90 percent in the country like Norway in the primary care practices as well as in Denmark and Sweden. But on the other hand, EMR in the United States of America has been restricted to about twenty percent of the physician practice in the office. However, there has been mainly the use of the EMR systems for administrative reasons and not for clinical reasons where there has been the implementation of such systems (Anonymous, 2001).
Effectiveness of the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and their impact on the consumer
The EMR systems are rooted in the core of whatever health information system that is computerized. In the absence of these systems, other technologies of the current days like the decision support systems can’t be incorporated into the everyday clinical workflow effectively.
In the course of the last few years, the political movements that are in for a change in most of the countries or almost all of the countries in the West have gained strength over time. Clear evidence has indicated that on an increasing level that the systems that are presently used are not delivering adequately safe, highly qualitative, and less costly health care. The suggestion is offered that carrying out computerization with the Electronic Medical Recorder (EMR) at the core is the only effective progress.
The governments of such countries as France, New Zealand, the USA, the UK, and Canada among other countries have made the announcement and carrying out the implementation of the plans to set up incorporated computer-based state health care infrastructure based on the exploitation of interoperable EMR systems. Many of these countries intend to implement this in the coming ten years (Anonymous, 2001).
According to Baker (2005), it is believed that electronic medical records improve medical care and bring down the level of medical errors. This view is also backed by Andrews (2009) and he stresses that electronic medical recorders are the best devices to use in the case where the errors have to be minimized. Consumers are very much willing to derive the benefits of this technology. It is also believed that electronic medical records enhance the saving of time in the offices of doctors (Baker, 2005).
Financial Impacts on Organizations
According to Renner (1996), researches carried out as well as the experience of the users indicate that the utilization of the electronic medical record systems can assist organizations to cut costs and be able to even generate new income. Among the organizations, some are adding providers without making the addition of the support staff. More so, among the users, some have reported attending to more patients per day thus realizing increased revenue.
Advantages of the EMR
The first advantage is that it makes the replacement of the paper-based medical records which might not be complete have different parts in various places or locations, that can be difficult to find and even these records might be difficult to read. The EMR provides a source of information that can be shared, accurate, updated, and available any time and in any place and can be quickly retrieved.
Another advantage is that using the EMR enhances the potential to computerize, structure, and make a more efficient clinical workflow.
The next advantage is that the EMR offers integrated support for a broader array of distinct care activities. These may include such activities as:
- Electronic subscribing
- Decision support
- Laboratory ordering and results display and,
- Electronic referrals radiology
Another advantage is that the EMRs preserve data as well as information follow on which an analysis can be carried out any time.
Uphold continuing medical teaching and learning
The increased implementation of this technology has not been so much possible due to some hindrances and such hindrances include:
- Technical matters. Such matters are regarding functionality, absence of integration with other applications, the quality that is not certain among other technical matters.
- Financial issues: High initial costs are involved to carry out the implementation of this technology.
- Presence of doubts regarding the clinical usefulness of the technology.
- Lack of compatibility between the systems.
- Ethical issues, confidentiality, and privacy matters as well certification and security.
- Issues concerning resources, offering training, and the presence of resistance among those who use the technology, among other issues.
Recommendations and Conclusion
As it has been considered, the EMR is a new technology that is quite beneficial in the health care sector. However, there must be efforts to overcome the barriers that have been looked at regarding this technology. For instance, the future technological systems in the health care sector should be designed in such a way that they will be easy to use, be of the certain quality, and be highly functional. Improving on this technology will enable the realization of full benefits from such technologies in the health care sector within as minimal barriers as possible.
Andrews, W. (2009). Are electronic medical records the future? Web.
Anonymous, (2001). Electronic Medical Records, Electronic Health Records. Web.
Baker, M. L. (2005). Patients willing to pay for electronic medical records, surveys show. Web.
Renner, K. (1996). Cost-justifying electronic medical records. Health care financial management. Web.