While it is true that the EMR systems are indicative of a faster-paced informational age in which larger quantities of information warrant a more effective IT infrastructure (primarily faster machines, better software and efficient databases) , there are many benefits to both the medical service provider and the consumer which still make their need viable in today's times.
Prospective users must be sufficiently informed and educated to help them gauge these benefits for themselves. Selling EMR packages should not be the goal but a by-product for EMR Vendors and Consultants here. Software Vendors should be willing to invest time and effort to educate the doctors, patients and clinical staff of the benefits to them which will follow an EMR implementation. Also, vendors must don a consultant hat and sell the appropriate package which would be the right fit. It is encouraging for the future that EMR vendors in developing nations have started providing the equipment, training and continued customer support that doctors need to make EMRs successful in their practices.
Further, like any other technology or practice, EMR will not gain a foothold unless there are sufficient incentives in a national healthcare system.The years ahead will be exciting as a number of developing countries such as India and Brazil seem to be slowly showing inclinations in enforcing IT in healthcare. The new NABL guidelines and the in-process ART Bill in India seem to be steps in the right direction, even if they have their detractors.
Similarly, the systems must be able to handle the pressures of the existing infrastructure. While a purely online EMR sounds wonderful, intelligent offline availability of these EMRs is critical (especially in India) where where internet availability is not reliable, and internet adoption (especially amongst senior citizens) is not that high. Offline availability can be enabled through smarter software designs, as well as storage devices such as CDs, USB drives, etc. It is important that the offline usage scenario has the same user-friendly search and retrieval capability as an online usage would provide.
EMR's simplify the management of the patient medical history across multiple doctors, hospitals and other facilities.
They also enable quick access and retrieval in case of an emergency.
They reduce the risk of loss of valuable heath data, bills, prescriptions and insurance details.
EMRs simplify the overall records management process.
Help in improving process flows within the hospitals
Provide insights into trends over time
EMRs enable quick review of past history of a patient and aid in rapid diagnosis.
They also enable doctors to collaborate and discuss a patient’s condition with colleagues or external specialists.