Indianapolis boasts the Regenstrief Medical Record System and the Indiana Network for Patient Care, the nation’s only citywide health information exchange. The system contains data on about 9.6 million patients. The system provides emergency department physicians rapid access to a patient’s information at any one of the 25 participating hospitals.
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) play a large role in improving health care and reducing costs. Both candidates in the upcoming presidential election are stressing the importance of EMR systems. Indianapolis’s system will act as an example, and hopefully motivate physicians to adopt EMRs once they see the benefits.
EMRs allow doctors and staff instant access to medical records. They do not have to waste time trying to find a misplaced paper chart, or spend precious minutes trying to decipher poor handwriting. These efficiencies help decrease errors and improve the quality of care. EMRs also can help you generate additional revenue by decreasing costs, reducing data entry errors, and helping you code at higher levels through improved documentation.
EMRs encourage preventative care. Many systems include alerts or other reminders that notify physicians when a patient is due for a checkup, test, or other procedure. Such practices can drastically reduce health care costs by vaccinating for preventable diseases, or diagnosing cancer in the early stages.
While the benefits of EMRs are clear, it is important to choose the right product. You want an EMR that provides all the functionally you need now, but can also be easily changed and adapted for future requirements, whether they result from changes in your practice, regulatory requirements, or the need to interface a citywide or regional health information exchange.