EMR - The Need Of The Hour

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Waiting for your name to be announced by the attender of the clinic… finally you get to hear your name being called out, arrange all your previous prescriptions and test reports serially and check it for the last time and finally you get your chance to meet the doctor. The doctor then goes through the papers checks up with your latest improvements and writes a new prescription which is almost illegible, while you wait impatiently for the 'verdict' to be announced by the doctor.

Well, we all have gone through this tedious process at once in our life. But times are changing fast and with the steep rise in technology and electronics engulfing almost every aspect of our day to day life, everything small object is getting digitised and occupying lesser space.

Here too those 'bunch of prescriptions and test reports' have nowadays taken the form of a tablet, not the one we gulp down, but an electronic device, rectangular in shape - EMR or Electronic Medical Record.

So, what exactly is it?
An -EMR is a digitised version of a paper document that contains all of a patient's Medical history. It represents a Medical record within a single facility, for e.g. a doctor's clinic, and contains the standard medical and clinical data of a patient’s collected in a single provider's office.

The History Book Again
The History of -EMR can be dares back to 1960s. Until then doctors took into account and record the data and treatment that was being provided only by them. Then for the first time, third party facilities also got a chance to analyse and verify the data independently. The process of prevention and maintenance and the communication between the members of the health care group had improved after the proper implementation of this module.

Then came the era of the computers which of course didn’t gain popularity until the 80s. Even then the portable record keeping system consisted largely of papers which needed storage space and manual movement.

With the advent of technology, the paper documents could be sent through fax and as it was time saving, became commonplace. But it was not until the last decade that with the help of internet major

Medical systems of the developed world couldcommunicate among themselves.

Advantages
  • Better quality of health care and patient safety - provides better, up to date, complete information about the patient
  • Helps in tracking the patient’s record over a large time period effectively
  • Saves time as it quickly identifies the patient’s who are in for a preventive measure and screening.
  • Monitors the patient’s condition regarding certain parameter like B.P and Sugar levels.
  • Improves overall quality of the health care in a single facility.
  • Saves us from the trouble of spending much time in figuring out the exact info from the illegible doctor’s handwriting.
  • Medical practitioners have an instant access to data required for treatment in case of an emergency.
  • One of the greatest benefits is that we are saving paper hence our valuable trees!!!
Disadvantages
  • Much skill is required in operating the - EMR. Skilled technicians are needed in case of a breakdown or problem which means an entire office being shut down.
  • A single mistake in data entry could mean a series of misinterpreted information, and a large amount of data may be lost which is big problem. In the the medical world data retrieval problems can cause serious issues.
  • Medical record contains many personal records such as insurance info, personal number and address which if leaked can be the cause of many disasters.

So now healthcare becomes more simple and quick with EMR.