Global Business Intelligence (GBI) Research, a firm that publishes in-depth knowledge reports of professional industries, had its team of healthcare industry experts look into the state of health information technology. What they found out is that not only is the electronic medical records market changing the way office-based physicians access and communicate needed clinical information to better care for their patients, but that EMR/EHR systems (Electronic Medical Records /Electronic Health Records) are driving future growth (the GBI Research report has more information on the Healthcare IT market up to 2017).
Both the use of computers and of the Internet in healthcare has played parts in creating and encouraging new and better health systems. Digital records have transformed how medical facilities work: how they write, communicate and store clinical information. Many are the benefits brought by EMR/EHR systems.
They are designed to safeguard patients' protected health information and provide long-term storage and preservation of health data; such systems ensure future accessibility of patient files that far exceeds the average shelf-life of paper records. The systems also provide patients requests to access their own medical data and provide physicians the ability to make notes about a patient's health care much easier and faster.
The evolution of technology also provides huge financial incentives and offers medical practices the benefit of keeping costs down, as the GBI Research report indicates. The adoption of EMR has in this aspect significant advantages over paper-based systems as it allows “decreased printing and storage costs, elevated productivity, and a faster and more informed decision-making process…” (as stated in an EMR | White Paper).
Isn’t it time for all healthcare providers to transform patient records in electronic form? It is sure to benefit both staff and the quality and timeliness of patients care and service. Hopefully soon there will be evidence that more medical practices are bringing health records into the 21st century and transforming patient paper records in electronic ones so to have better decision support, quality management, and reporting on patient medical files. With citizens wanting to play a bigger role in the management of their medical care, there is no better time to promote technology-facilitated solutions.
As GBI’s report concludes, IT in Healthcare will play a big role in future medical care. EMRs have yet to be the standard practice, but as pointed out by Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the future of electronic health record adoption and the use of EMRs will “result in significant cost savings across our health care system.” The current rise and widespread use of EMR/EHR systems is the key to open doors to the future of healthcare.
Edited by Jennifer Russell