EMR 101: An Overview of Key Benefits

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It’s no secret the Internet is everywhere, so it is a contradiction that millions of Americans feel secure enough to do their banking online, but the U.S. healthcare system is still wary of transitioning health and medical records into an electronic format.

As I sat with Ron Pelletier, vice president of market strategy, at a SourceMedical conference in Las Vegas, he stated, healthcare in general, grossly underutilizes the internet. We discussed one of the main reasons outpatient centers have been slow to change. “On the ASC side, things may not have been broken. Reimbursements were good, now that is changing. These centers are under pressure with reimbursements shrinking and costs going up. Many are saying, ‘In order to stay competitive and keep my business afloat, I need to find better ways of doing this.’ The necessity now is driving them.” states Pelletier.

This series of articles will cover some of the key points that need to be addressed when considering the implementation of an EMR in your ASC, including key benefits of EMRs, what to look for in a provider, how to get your staff ready for this impending transition.

Click here to join SurgiStrategies readers in their quest to understand the benefits of an EMR solution within the ASC and surgical hospital setting.

To begin, we should consider the many definitions of an EMR. “There have been so many people out there that have said ‘I am selling an EMR’ and all it is is scanning in your paper and saving it to a computer,” says Craig Veach, senior vice president of operations for Amkai. “Then there are others who have a forms-based system. In the PIIM study, of the original 50 that were considered, none of those were even the forms-based systems because PIIM thought they were not commercially viable. You want something that is a true work-flow manager. Our EMR handles communications within the organization using an internal email and instant message (IM) that allows people to pass info and stay HIPAA compliant. It’s customizable on how it is set up to manage an individual organization’s workflow,” Veach adds. The Parsons Institute for Information Mapping (PIIM) study Veach refers to recently reviewed the top six EMR systems available on the market today.

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