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Connecting to the Future: The Importance of Electronic Medical Records

How electronic health records are going to impact and improve the overall quality of the health care industry.

Hospitals and medical facilities in the U.S. have slowly begun to make the transition to electronic medical recordkeeping, with private practices being just slightly behind. President Obama’s goal is to have full EHR adoption by 2014; yet many are reluctant, choosing instead to continue with the method of traditional paper charts — a method that can quite literally take up as much space as the facility itself. As charts and files must be kept up to date on each patient, in addition to the increase in the amount of patient care information itself, their physical size grows as well, which can become problematic as additional space is finite and can be costly.

Perhaps the biggest hesitation to EMR/EHR adoption is the sheer physical size of patient databases and the amount of manual entry work necessary to convert them over to an electronic format. This ends up being a small price to pay for adopting a database that is nigh indestructible with virtual back-up servers, features instantaneous recall, and is easily shared anywhere in the world.

With a myriad amount of benefits that EMRs provide, many health care facilities remain cautious of such a dramatic change. Though more are making the switchover to EMR/EHR, their success or failure is often directly attributed to being well prepared to make the change—which can include not only changes in procedures and data entry, but also changes in employee attitudes and behavior as well, not to mention the medical equipment necessary. And medical equipment companies have been quick to pick up on this fact by making themselves more marketable to health care providers looking to make the transition.

For the past four years, DETECTO, the largest medical scale manufacturing company in the U.S., has been designing and manufacturing many of their clinical scale product line to be EMR/EHR-ready, which includes eye-level and waist-high physician scales, bariatric scales, wheelchair scales and visiting nurse scales. Detecto has even gone a step further by partnering with Welch-Allyn, a global provider of medical diagnostic equipment, to facilitate an easier transition to the electronic medium by providing the intelligent equipment necessary to do so. EMR-compatible software and equipment has proven invaluable both in the transition to and operation of modern medical recordkeeping.

Manual entry of patient data presents the opportunity for human error, so electronic medical recordkeeping removes this potential hazard. This practice not only saves time, but increases the accuracy of patient data and greatly improves the quality of healthcare by presenting the medical professional with more time for patient care. Providing the best possible quality of service should be the goal of any business, and the health care industry is no exception. EMR/EHR capabilities help medical facilities accomplish this efficiency goal.

For more info:

DETECTO   •   Ph. (800) 641-2008   •   •   203 East Daugherty St., Webb City, MO 64870

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