Electronic Medical Records May Save Lives

Electronic medical records may dramatically improve the diagnosis, management and care of patients, according to a Kaiser Permanente study from the September 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. This study reports that electronic medical records improve the quality of health care overall and may result in quicker diagnosis and response time to critical needs.

Electronic medical records can also enable the study of data from an entire population in ways not previously possible: allowing conditions to be analyzed to determine what treatments work and what do not, finding patterns of care that are more effective, and defining the cost-effectiveness of various techniques and approaches for optimal care. By being able to track larger amounts of data than ever before, medical teams can track vital medical data without the need for costly and cumbersome voluntary studies. Lives might be saved by following and analyzing diagnosis and treatment across a large group of patients and new solutions could be discovered through new found research data. These are the positive influences that electronic medical records may supply on the research side, but every day solutions are also provided.

The safety alerts, built into many electronic medical record systems, may draw attention to life-threatening situations. Imagine a patient seen by two separate doctors. These doctors each prescribe separate medication that could harmfully interact, medication that is somehow not noted or brought to the second doctor’s attention. This could have a potentially fatal consequence. With a electronic medical record systems, doctors are alerted instantly to any potentially dangerous medical interactions or conditions of a patient. According to a “Safety in Prescribing” study in Archives of Internal Medicine, safety alerts that appear in electronic medical records reduce potentially dangerous interactions of co-prescriptions.

“This study shows that safety alerts in electronic medical records are a powerful tool to help clinicians make decisions about what drugs they should prescribe for their patients,” says Adrianne Feldstein, MD, MS, lead author of the study and an investigator at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research. “We compared the effects of two interventions in outpatient clinical settings – safety alerts in electronic medical records versus safety alerts plus clinician education courses. We found that adding clinician education to electronic medical records safety alerts did not reduce the rates of co-prescribing medications that interact any more than electronic medical records safety alerts alone. The reason is unclear, but it may be that the ‘just in time’ information provided by safety alerts is more useful to clinicians than education courses.”

Electronic medical records may help save lives, especially when they are properly implemented and understood. For more information about a reliable electronic medical record system, contact e-MDs, a leader in electronic medical record software provision. e-MDs offers a host of affordable solutions for physicians and facilities looking to modernize or enhance their services with the latest EMR technology. e-MDs is committed to providing operational solutions and delivering the clinical tools needed to succeed in today’s medical field.

Brigette Botkin. Electronic Medical Records– e-MDs powerful software can help manage your electronic medical records

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