Many doctors and hospitals are now using electronic medical records system. Slowly, old files with long background histories are being uploaded via electronic means. At the same time, technology has made it possible to keep these files safe from damages or being lost. Computer hardware programs designed for backup have been available recently. More and more features are being added to these programs as the technology improves with time.
There are many benefits that can be had in using medical records system. For one, proper coordination between different medical teams or hospitals reduces the risk of errors in medication. By using a centralized system, the patients’ medical records can be accessed without much hassle. This is useful especially in cases wherein there is an emergency or accident and medical decisions have to be made.
Among the information that can be accessed include whether or not the patient is allergic to anything, blood type, previous diagnoses, medication being taken, and so on. This can help save a patient’s life especially in case of emergency.
Another issue among most hospitals is space. Reduction of paper use for medical files will help save space. Instead of allotting room for the files, the area can be used for other purposes instead. Also, keeping files on paper endangers records since it may be torn or damaged as it gets older. It is also vulnerable to different elements such as water and fire.
If these files are transferred to a more organized and easily accessible medical records system, it will be easier to manage. This also saves time since you do not have to scavenge shelves and drawers just to locate a single file. All you have to do is encode the necessary information and the record is given to you in no time.
Obviously, medical institutions need stability and consistency to save a patient’s life. Written documents tend to wear out and they can be lost if not properly documented. There are also instances wherein the physician’s penmanship becomes a problem.
Most doctors are known to have unreadable penmanship. This can lead to problems which will affect the patient’s condition. It is therefore important that a record should have clear and exact documentation of the diagnoses and recommendation. A simple misunderstanding may cost someone’s life.
Proper documentation also benefits the patient in the sense that it helps avoid double testing and wrong prescription. It also helps the physician monitor a patient’s reaction towards a particular medication.
For medical institutions, time does not only mean money. Time can spell the difference between life and death. The more time saved, the better it is for the patient. This is also another reason why medical practitioners should use an organized records system.
However, like all things new, there are certain concerns raised about the use of this system. One concern is that this technology may distract a doctor from performing his tasks. A doctor who is confused with this new technology may lose focus on the patient’s symptoms and needs.