Electronic medical record boosts quality, efficiency

that the EMR decreases errors.

Still, EMRs offer several potential advantages for interventional cardiology: System-wide computerization means that medical records are available whenever the physician needs them; EMRs contain complete data on the patient's medical history, diagnostic tests, and treatments; and, unlike handwriting, EMRs are always legible.

An EMR has other strengths too. It enables the creation of templates, so that reports on diagnostic studies or interventional treatments can be completed easily, accurately, and immediately--without the delays of dictation, transcription, or filing. Electronic records can issue reminders to physicians about recommended medications, drugdrug interactions, follow-up exams, and prevention guidelines.

In addition, information from EMRs can flow automatically to and from databases, where it can be used to measure quality of care and to compare one healthcare institution--or one interventionalist--to another. These data can also be used to adjust for patient health and the complexity of each procedure when tracking clinical outcomes. Finally, electronic records can improve research studies by making data collection easier and faster.

"I see the electronic medical record involved in everything we do, from recording images and data, to describing why we did a procedure and what we learned, to analyzing data for quality, to keeping track of the supplies we used and what we need," Dr. Morrison said. "The potential of the electronic medical record to improve health care is huge."


Contact: Kathy Boyd David
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

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