Paperless Patient Care

Most people reading this probably grew up in an age of paper medical care details, hand-written medications, and faxed or sent by mail test results. A common sight at many physicians’ office visit was a wall of patient files containing just this kind of details, all alphabetized and marked with little colored tabs. However, to younger visitors and what will certainly be the case for your children, this program of handling your medical care information will look like it belongs in a museum. In a world where you can do everything from book, to pay your takes and even call a cab online, the idea of depending on document records to arrange important elements of your medical care and also one of the biggest sectors in the United States seems ancient.

patient_careFor decades now, medical care service suppliers have discussed the move from paper-based medical care information. Today, electronic medical care record techniques are finally becoming more popular. This is a pattern that has been growing over the past 10 years but that has significantly extended since 2009, when President Obama released the “Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act”, an incentive program to motivate medical care centers and patient care suppliers to look at digital medical care information. To date, the stimulation bundle has provided immeasurable dollars to over one hundred thousand qualified medical care centers and qualified patient care suppliers  who have confirmed adopting, called “meaningful use,” of qualified EHR technology. Improvement is being made, for example, a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the number of medical care centers using some kind of EMR has tripled in the last three years, bringing the total utilization up to 44 percent of US medical care centers.

The conversion away from paper-based methods to digital medical care information, however, has not been easy, or quick. Part of the problem has less to do with technology and more to do with culture. Applying an EMR program means that patient care suppliers and other medical center staff have to go about their work in a different way than in a paper-based environment. Applying an EMR invariably has an effect on clinical process since a new part is being added between the patient and doctor and how the doctor is documenting the individual’s information and developing a plan of proper care.

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