Electronic medical records, or EMRs, are an important step in modernizing our health care system. Transferring paper records to electronic ones has multiple benefits for both healthcare providers and patients. Here are some of the ways computerized medical records benefit patients.
Increased Communication in Emergencies or Transfers
Let’s say you’re on vacation and you need urgent healthcare. A doctor can easily receive your electronic medical records and treat you more quickly than having you fill out your entire history. Most patients can’t remember their entire medical history. Think about it: can you really remember exactly what vaccinations you received and when you received them? Additionally, if a patient is severely injured or unconscious, they’ll be unable to provide medical records.
Decreased Wait Time
Computerized medical records save time for both healthcare providers and patients. This means less time sitting in an office waiting room, filling out endless forms and waiting for the staff to process the information you’ve provided. Electronic information is much more navigable than paper records. For example, a doctor can quickly see if there’s a history of breast cancer in your family or if you’ve had trouble with high cholesterol. This means less flipping through records for him and less wait time for you.
Doctors have long recognized the benefits of having a computerized record system, and the idea of electronic records has been around for a long time. There’s no chance of tangible destruction with computerized records; while paper records can be destroyed by fire or water damage, computerized medical records are stored in a secure, confidential location with backups. Electronic medical records are the future of medical care.