Electronic Health Record Integration (EHR), also known as electronic medical records (EMR), is the process of converting an individual’s or a company’s in-patient medical records, or hospitalization information into an electronic format that can be accessed by EMR software applications. This information is then fed into EHR software programs, which can be accessed by patients and their primary care physicians. EMR is used to improve patient care by eliminating duplicate tests, procedures, and treatments. EMR software programs are also helping in the prevention of medical errors such as misdiagnosis and treatment for conditions that may not warrant surgery. Studies show that overall, EMR electronic health records are improved in accuracy and clarity.
According to the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, over 90 percent of medical schools in the U.S. now offer EMR courses to their students. The coursework includes topics such as electronic health record standards; legal issues surrounding EMR implementation and privacy; electronic health record security and privacy issues; and EHR implementation guidelines. The American College of Rheumatology reports that over two hundred articles on EMR have been published in journals and specialty magazines over the last decade. Numerous health care companies, such as pharmaceutical giants Merck and Jansport, are also introducing EMR electronic health records into their employee benefit plans.
The cost of implementing EMR electronic health record integration varies according to the health institution. Most hospitals can incorporate EHR within their current system. However, smaller institutions and private practices may need to purchase their EHR software. Software vendors offer discounts on their products to small institutions and may help them design and develop their own EHR electronic health record integration system. EMR integration with existing EHR software requires more documentation and training. On the other hand, EMR allows a higher level of financial control because it eliminates redundant, outdated paper-based processes, such as patient billing and insurance verification.
Access Medical Information
EMR allows providers to access medical information remotely, regardless of their location or time of day. This enables health information to be shared across multiple locations and offices in real-time, allowing for improved patient care and more efficient scheduling. EMR also streamlines data collection and transfer between multiple different locations, which allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment. For example, EMR allows a nurse to enter patient demographics and vital signs and then transmit this information over the Internet to a centralized EMR platform. Rather than requiring a staff member to physically collect patient information at the office or in a hospital, EMR allows that same person to access that information from practically anywhere, thanks to an electronic health record.
EMR and EHR software programs allow health information to be shared among different EHR components. An EHR program can include computerized physician order entry, home health screening, and medication reminders. Additionally, EMR and EHR software programs can share patient health history data, immunizations, and other health-related information, and allow for in-house instruction and support via phone and email. This allows a health plan’s claims department to track all of a health plan’s patient’s records within a single system.
Integrate With Existing Software
An EMR program may integrate with existing software used by doctors and hospitals, or it may be completely new software. Regardless of the type of software used, epic integration greatly reduces the amount of time that medical professionals have to spend entering patient health information and sending it to their EHR and thus provides a greater degree of convenience for patients. However, even with EMR, the benefits of patient privacy are not fully maintained, and in some cases, electronic health records contain unrelated medical data. Therefore, it is important to ensure that EHR software is compatible with EMR, especially when electronic health records are stored on the same server. This ensures that electronic health record integration will work smoothly and seamlessly.