What is the Future of Electronic Medical Records? Most healthcare providers are slowly but surely transitioning from the traditional hard copy paper record to the electronic medical record that is more easily entered, stored, and accessed. Tablets have replaced notepads for doctors dictating the patient’s medical history, review of systems, physical examination, and factors in medical decisionmaking. This has freed the healthcare provider from spending additional time entering data, and reduced the amount of time taken away from patient care. Tablets can also take visual images on the spot as needed.
The future, according to KERA, a north Texas public radio station, is tying all these records into a network that primary care physicians, specialists, and other healthcare providers can share. For example, it is still very common for patients to have to fill out the same forms over and over again when seeing other doctors, including specialists to whom he or she has been referred by the primary care physician. One reason is that various healthcare providers have different medical record software programs that do not necessarily communicate with one another over a network.
In the future, different specialists will be able to access medical information on a patient instantaneously, including notes from the primary care physician, and add data if necessary. This would streamline the recordkeeping process that has been the bane of healthcare providers and free them up to spend more time taking care of patients. As a bonus, the system could be geared to alert the primary care physician instantly when a patient has been admitted to the emergency room, or a record has been updated by another physician.
In the present, electronic medical records store patient information. In the future, healthcare professionals will find new ways to access and share patient information that goes beyond storing it in the patient record.
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