Twenty-first century Information Technology (IT)—along with government policy guidelines on Electronic Medical Records (EMR)—is ushering a sea-change in the modern health industry. Enhanced EMR platforms and automated payment systems, for example, significantly cut down paper resources in hospitals and medical centers. Patients, doctors, and nurses would have fewer paperwork to deal with as these systems are further refined.
With the help of IT companies like Spectrum Information Services, healthcare facilities are adopting new techniques in data management. More and more community health centers are adopting the paperless system of document management to improve resource efficiency while easing the demand on the environment. Fred Pennic, in a recent article for HIT Consultant, writes:
“Community health centers provide care to people regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. In 2012, the centers treated 21 million people, of whom nearly eight of 10 had public insurance or were uninsured. The new survey finds that 85 percent of FQHCs reported they had achieved advanced HIT capabilities in 2013—meaning they could perform at least nine of thirteen key functions, such as e-prescribing medications. FQHCs adopted HIT at higher rates than office-based physicians, including large practices and large integrated health care systems.”
While more hospitals and community health centers are pushing this drive towards better data management, patients, in turn, benefit from EMR through quicker and more systematic record-keeping of their files, which results in quicker access, proper tracking, and more accurate mapping of diagnoses. This can only result in better treatment plans for patients.
Furthermore, healthcare professionals will find several advantages to using EMR platforms. It is easier to transfer and share patient data to the appropriate medical staff. Doctors can access information more easily, thus saving time—and storage space. Just imagine the cabinets of files that you still see in offices and rooms of old hospitals; the sight of those should soon be on its way out. This increased efficiency and improved documentation system will allow for more patients to be treated. Quicker diagnoses from improved document management systems will also help doctors move more competently from patient to patient.
IT upgrades also allow for medical institutions to install efficient accounts payable automation. Billing patients can be difficult with the additional complex processing of insurance. An automated system offers a paperless environment while relying on more accurate and faster computing systems. Audits are also made easier. These are benefits that respond well to the challenges that confront an increasingly more complex medical care industry.
(Source: Survey: EHR Adoption Rates Up 133% in Community Health Centers HIT Consultant, May 20, 2014)