Electronic Medical Records (EMR) came about as a result of two significant pieces of legislation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 set forth a significant investment in the adoption of these records by healthcare providers. This was followed up two years later by an initiative launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide financial incentives to healthcare providers to adopt an electronic record standard. This came about as requirements under the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, which is Title IV of ARRA.
Since 2009, there have been significant changes and advancements in EMR System technology that has enabled healthcare software to meet and at times exceed the requirements of ARRA. These EMR solutions have allowed providers to gather essential data required to meet the reporting requirements mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. The primary goal of migrating healthcare records to an EMR format is to help healthcare providers lower costs and pass those savings onto patients. Looking forward to 2016, here are some of the trends to look for in EMR technology that will bring to this solution to the forefront benefiting both providers and patients along the way.
EMR Proficiency Among Healthcare Providers in Increasing
Accenture Consulting commissioned a study of 2,619 doctors in six countries: Australia, Brazil, England, Norway, Singapore and the United States. Of the 601 (22.9 percent) respondents in the United States, 79 percent stated that they were more proficient in EMR technology than they were two years prior in 2013. Of the EMR use, the top three functions for improving the quality of patient care includes the entering of patient notes (62 percent), entering e-prescriptions (50 percent) and loading clinical results to populate a patient’s current EMR (34 percent).
Communication with patients through secure email has increased over a three-year period (of those surveyed) by 131 percent. Additionally, electronic notifications of interactions a healthcare provider’s patient had with other health organizations increased in that same three-year period by 68 percent. Healthcare providers have increased their ability to download an electronic summary of their patient’s medical records by 92 percent between 2012 and 2015, as well as increased their access to medical information by 83 percent.
EMR’s Increasing Mobility
The 2014 annual survey of 600 respondents conducted by Software Advice in collaboration with market research firm Research Now found that EMR uses among mobile users (i.e. smartphone or tablet) reported higher levels of satisfaction and fewer problems than in the past. This represents a change in attitude in the way in which users are accessing EMRs and their attitude toward mobility, which is a growing trend expected to continue into the coming year and beyond. Although desktop and laptop users represent more than three-fourths of the devices used to access electronic medical records, the satisfaction level of mobile users was deemed very satisfactory by 58 percent, while only 28 percent of non-mobile users felt the same.
The EMR Cloud
Another trend to look for in the coming year is the move toward a cloud-based solution for EMRs. Cloud-based solutions, according to the KLAS Overall Software Vendor Rating, have seen a change in the dominance of one provider toward others who can deliver a faster, more engaged cloud-based solution that meets the needs of healthcare providers to secure EMR data and access information in real-time, when needed. The cloud-based approach for healthcare providers allows for scalability at a level that is unimaginable under the current client-server solution. This, coupled with the lower cost of acquisition associated with a client-server, provides a flexible and cost-effective solution that allows healthcare providers to lower overall costs.
Affiliation of Pharmacies and Health Systems
CVS Health has moved to integrate EMRs in three of regional healthcare systems. This integration is designed to not only improve the delivery of quality healthcare within an individual supply chain but also serve as a catalyst for change as a growing trend for all healthcare service providers. Ensuring that the partnership between each level within the system of service providers meets the same uniform standard means that patients will come to expect the same degree of service delivered consistently from doctors, hospitals, healthcare facilities and pharmacies. This trend should also help to remove duplications and redundancies that add to cost and compromise the quality of overall patient care.
You don’t need a crystal ball to determine the direction EMRs will take over the coming year. Make sure EMR solution is the perfect fit for your facility’s needs moving forward with help from Net Health. Our specialized EMR systems deliver improved patient care, outcomes and workflows all in the name of bettering your facility’s operations. Discover how our specialized outpatient care EMR solutions can help your facility grow and schedule a demo today!