Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records (EMR’s) are medical or health records of the patient that are maintained electronically and can be utilized to enter, store and update the medical history, place orders for X-rays, tests and laboratory investigations, enable the user to place prescriptions, and provide alerts, messaging and reminders to the users. Across the US, the Federal government has imposed certain standards to ensure that the EMR’s installed can meet certain specifications in usage. Within a timeframe, various hospitals and organizations in the US have to replace the old paper system with the EMR system.

By the year 2014, the entire US would have a fully functional EMR system. This would have several implications for the healthcare system, with improvements in quality, reductions in costs and medical errors, handling greater number of patients, effective transfer of health information, better securing of medical information, etc (HHS, 2006). In a larger hospital, there is frequent requirement that many users would be trying to access the health information of the patient at the same time. Frequently, the users would be using the EMR as a messaging system basically to communicate information and to receive or place orders/prescriptions.

However, having greater number of users would have both benefits and limitations. One of the basic advantages of having many users logged in simultaneously would ensure that interactions can be made through the EMR system and issues sorted out. The consultant would be available at all times and the other users can effectively communicate with him/her. There is not need to use the phone or other communication devices. This is a huge advantage, helping to reduce the costs and ensure tools within the EMR system can be used.

The patient’s care can be distributed over several users who would be specialized in performing certain functions. For example, the nurse can monitor the progress of the patient, the physician can plan the treatment, the laboratory can update the test results, the pharmacy can deliver prescriptions, etc. This would encourage improvements in the quality of care. If one user can log into the system at a time, then it would not serve any purpose in ensuring greater integration of the healthcare services (HHS, 2006). On the other hand, having multiple users may also have a few limitations.

An increase in the users would result in the speed of the database slowing down, and the organization should think of a larger database with a higher network connection. This would translate into higher costs. Another problem would be the increase in the number of licenses for the EMR (MedScribbler, 2008). The hospital would also require a higher end EMR that would be ensuring communications between the various healthcare personnel. Another disadvantage is that there may be issues in saving the helath information if many users are logged in at the same time and try to update the same patient’s data.A higher end EMR system would be able to solve this problem (AMD, 2009).


AMD Software (2008). System Requirements, Retrieved on June 5, 2009, from Website: http://amdsoftware. com/system-requirements. asp HHS (2006). Electronic Medical Record Small Physicians Practice Assessment, Retrieved on June 5, 2009, from Website: http://www. scribd. com/doc/9850307/EMR-Small-Physician-Practices-Assessment Med Scribbler (2008). EMR Client Online to Database Server, Retrieved on June 6, 2009, from Website: http://www. medscribbler. com/electronic_medical_record_asp_emr. html

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