Advancements in technology have touched most aspects of today's world. Fortunately, the medical field is one area that technological progression is having a massive effect on.
What are EMRs?
EMR, or Electronic Medical Records, are an electronic version of the usual paper charts that have been typically used in a doctor's office. Just like their paper counterparts, they contain the medical and treatment history of the patient.
EMRs are rapidly changing the face of data sharing between medical practitioners of every specialization.
Cardiologists, in particular, are taking notice of the many advantages provided by an electronic data recording system. It is essential for cardiology specialists to have accurate and detailed documentation to provide the best patient care possible.
Here are some general advantages of EMR to any medical professional:
- More efficient transfer of information. Because the information is in a digital format as opposed to paper, the information is available to any practitioner, at any location. In addition, it is readily available to authorized staff immediately.
- Quicker turnaround. Test results are available more quickly than ever before. Any one of the patient's team of doctors can view test results in the same day as the testing, as opposed to waiting several days. Rapid results can equal a more prompt start to treatment.
- Security of information. No actual papers means that nothing is going to be misfiled or misplaced. Everything is also backed up electronically, so nothing can be destroyed should there be a fire or some other calamity.
- Patient safety. As soon as a patient's information is entered, the doctor and other medical staff are alerted to possible drug interactions or reactions, according to what medications they are being prescribed. This can be of critical importance.
- If a patient decides to move their care to a different physician, their information can be sent electronically, or it can be downloaded to a USB drive or cd. There is no physical transfer of bulky files to contend with.
Human error is also nearly eliminated as there is no discrepancy over misread handwriting or indecipherable notations.
Benefits specific to Cardiologists
There are some specific advantages of EMR to cardiologists:
- Quick retrieval of comprehensive medical history. A primary care physician who sends a patient to a specialist can quickly make a patient's medical history available.
- Lessen the turnaround time for critical results. This can be crucial in a situation in which a patient presents to the ER with chest pains. The cardiologist can quickly view results of vital tests, such as echocardiograms.
- Cardiologic history can be highlighted. A patient's history of heart trouble can be designated on their digital file. Any medical professional they see can quickly see their heart-related treatments and medications in one grouping.
WIth many heart patients, time is of the essence. This simplifies the physician's work when trying to pinpoint a specific test result or previous treatment.
The Bottom Line
Giving the best care to patients is the goal of all medical professionals. The use of electronic medical records goes a long way in accomplishing that all-too-important result.
Due to the critical nature of many heart patients, it is reasonable to think that this technology in the hands of cardiologists and the PCPs they work with, will have a positive impact on the care provided.