Storage of records and charts can take up a great deal of space in offices and hospitals and charts can often be misplaced or lost when they are needed. Many offices will store some charts off-site, since there is simply not enough space to keep every chart in the office and finding specific records and transporting them between locations can be an expensive and time consuming process.
An electronic medical record, often abbreviated to EMR, is a medical record which is stored electronically. Using an EMR makes it easy for all staff members to store, modify and access records quickly and easily. Records that are kept electronically can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection and this will greatly reduce the amount of time staff members have to spend searching for, pulling up and filing paper charts. Even though there are federal cash incentives to convert to electronic medical records, many offices across the United States still prefer paper records because they don’t know the benefits of making the switch.
A study performed in 2006 estimated that the efficiency of an office or hospital can be increased 6% every year by using EMR. Electronic files are also of benefit to patients because their private health information is much more secure and can only be accessed by those with a password to get into the system. Physicians can keep neat and legible notes, which are much easier for nurses and assistants to understand, thus decreasing misinformation being given due to clerical errors. Electronic medical records benefit everyone in the healthcare profession and are a great way to save space and avoid losing vital information.