Electronic Medical Records Transform Patient Care

EMRs bring more coordinated, safer, better healthcare

doctor logging into a computer

Contributor: A. Marc Harrison, MD, CEO, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

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When it became possible to digitize medical records, it made life better for patients. The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) has had far-reaching effects on medicine – driving up access, safety, transparency, operational excellence and quality.

Very few patients around the world have free access to their own test results and medical record. Using an EMR system, patients can review their own laboratory and imaging results online after they have been released by the doctor. The system is carefully designed to make sure the patient gets maximum information.

Access to the right care, at the right time and in the right place is what every patient wants. It is also an approach to ensure value is delivered through the healthcare system. Patients benefit from coordination among doctors’ offices, hospitals, procedural suites and operating rooms across a variety of specialties. The EMR allows multiple stakeholders appropriate access at any time to view and update critical patient data.

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As it is kept current, the data in the EMR makes things safer for patients. For example, when a clinician prescribes a medicine, the EMR is used to ensure correct dosage by checking it against the patient’s weight. The medicine is compared with the patient’s list of drug allergies and cross-checked for interactions with other medicines.

The EMR also makes sure patients are scheduled with the right provider for their particular needs. The electronic time stamps allow healthcare systems to monitor timeliness of access and appropriateness of appointment making. It makes it easy to fill empty slots in doctors’ schedules, allowing for same-day appointments that many patients desire.

Great healthcare organizations seek to provide consistently excellent care to its patients. The EMR takes great care to a new level, making hospitals work better and serving patient needs.

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