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Origins of Electronic Medical Records and how they benefit us?

Origins of Electronic Medical Records and how they benefit us?

Origins of Electronic Medical Records and how they benefit us?

By: Faiz B. Khan

June 24, 2020

EMR stands for Electronic Medical Record, and is the collection of all medical and clinical notes taken by a doctor at their place of practise. We can see many different hospitals today offering their patients EMRs as it is becoming the standard used everywhere. In the 1960s a famous American physician named Larry Weed first came up with the concept of collecting a patient’s data electronically as opposed to manual records. The idea here was that Weed wanted a third party to be able to independently review the diagnosis and assess its accuracy.

However, it was not until 1972 when the Regenstrief Institute, located in the USA was able to develop the first fully functional EMR. This was considered to be a breakthrough for the healthcare/medical world. There was one problem however which was that the cost of creating and maintaining these EMRs was exceptional and so at first, they were only introduced in some government hospitals.

The 1990’s saw an increase in the affordability of computers and was the time when the internet was first introduced to the world. The Institute of Medicine projected that by 2000, every doctor’s office should have systems setup using computers to improve the quality of care delivered to the patients. Going forward by early 2000 the USAs budgeted doubled for healthcare IT projects, and the industry was enforced to adopt electronic medical records for all patients.

Components within an EMR include:

Electronic Medical Records comprise of several different components, all of which collectively form these records. The following are EMR components:

  • Patient registration
  • Scheduling
  • Patient encounters documentation
  • Prescriptions
  • Document management
  • Requesting and receiving labs/imaging reports
  • Clinical decision support
  • Interoffice communications

Benefits of EMRs:

It has been proven that Electronic medical records improve quality of care, patient outcomes, and safety through improved management, reduction in medication errors, reduction in unnecessary investigations, and improved communication and interactions among primary care providers, patients, and other providers involved in care. Some more benefits of EMR are:

  • Providing accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients at the point of care
  • Enabling quick access to patient records for more coordinated, efficient care
  • Securely sharing electronic information with patients and other clinicians
  • Helping providers more effectively diagnose patients, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care
  • Improving patient and provider interaction and communication, as well as health care convenience
  • Enabling safer, more reliable prescribing
  • Helping promote legible, complete documentation and accurate, streamlined coding and billing
  • Enhancing privacy and security of patient data
  • Helping providers improve productivity and work-life balance
  • Enabling providers to improve efficiency and meet their business goals
  • Reducing costs through decreased paperwork, improved safety, reduced duplication of testing, and improved health.

In this way Electronic Medical Records have become an important part in our lives today and have improved the quality of care healthcare providers are able to offer patients.

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