If you had to name one modern medical technology that changed the way every hospital and clinic operates, what would it be? Chances are the first things that popped into your mind was the development of electronic medical records (EMRs). Though EMRs have risen to prominence in the media quite recently, they have been used by some hospitals and government agencies for more than 30 years.
In 1991 the Institute of Medicine established a goal that all doctors use computerized health records by the year 2000; however, adoption of EMRs was still not widespread at the dawn of the new millennium. When an executive order from President George Bush in 2004 created the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, the use of electronic medical records became more commonplace across the country and specialized software was developed to manage them.
Today, the idea of a clinic or hospital not using digital records is almost unimaginable. Some 87% of U.S. doctors now use some type of EMR system, according to a 2017 report from Medical Economics. Yet the dream of a single electronic health record that makes all of a patient’s history, medications and treatments accessible to any health care provider, anytime, has yet to be fully realized. Issues of interoperability and security have proven to be significant obstacles, as have growing concerns from doctors that more of their time is spent entering information on a computer than talking to their patients face to face.
Despite these bumps in the road, there is no doubt that the future of healthcare records is digital, and that EMRs are here to stay. Watch for a few key trends to bring widespread improvements to the industry in the coming years:
Accessibility — EMRs are becoming more accessible than ever from both a financial and a practical standpoint. As widespread adoption increases, the cost of implementation decreases, making the technology more accessible to smaller clinics and practitioners. Mobile apps increasingly allow users to access records from a variety of devices anywhere, at any time.
Standardization — The standardization of which data should be captured, how it should be entered into a system and how it should be displayed will lighten the workload for users. Expect EMR systems to become more intuitive, more efficient and more user-friendly, both for those entering data and for those accessing patient records.
Patient engagement — The rise of the EMR presents a unique opportunity for doctors and other healthcare providers to engage with their patients in new ways. Expect EMRs in the future to incorporate real-time data gathered via remote patient monitoring systems, virtual check ups, with personalized apps and portals designed to meet patients’ specific needs.
Optimize your EMR workflow with Ambir
Even the industry’s best EMR systems are only as efficient as the tools used to access them. Our lineup of Ambir scanners was designed to be compatible with most practice management and EMR systems, allowing information from IDs, registration forms, test results and more to be scanned directly into a patient’s digital record. In fact, leading healthcare software providers like Cerner, Epic, and Meditech recommend Ambir scanners to their customers.
Not sure which scanner is right for you? Our sales and technical teams can help you make the best decision for your healthcare practice’s unique needs. Contact us to learn more!