Hospitals and doctor offices are beginning to transition from traditional patient records on paper and electronic medical records also known as EMRs. According to one study the use of EMRs increases efficiency by 6 percent per year. EMRs can be updated continuously at the point of care or at other locations. Using An EMR interface, information is exchanged between different EMR systems.
The use of an EMR interface offers advantages that go beyond streamlining the data exchange among hospital, healthcare provider and lab. It also decreases the chance of errors in treatment caused by illegible medical records or handwritten prescriptions. The incorrect interpretation of handwritten data can lead to incorrect treatments, which can result in deaths.
Electronic records assist in standardizing forms, input of data as well as abbreviations and terminologies. When forms are digitalized it’s easier to collect information for clinical studies as well as research purposes in epidemiology. If non-affiliated healthcare providers are able to access the information provided through the portal for physicians they don’t have to obtain access from the patient. The real-time update made possible by the computerized physician order entry or CPOE gives all those involved to the process with most current details.
Interfaces are the part that allows the different medical entities with access to the patient’s electronic medical records. EMR integration into hospitals or laboratories is a requirement for the creation of this interface. It isn’t an easy task because of the many EMR platforms in use. Additionally, EMR vendors may have different interfaces to HL7 because of different implementation methods with regard to the HL7 standard.
In the absence of an EMR interface the lab or hospital can’t participate in health data exchange with an primary health care provider. In light of that, the interface is crucial for integrate electronic medical records. The hospitals and labs that do not choose to develop the necessary integration technology framework, or fail in their efforts to develop it will not be able keep up with the competition.
With the number of EMR systems on the market and the capability to allow the different EMR vendor to use HL7 in a different way and thus, the implementation of an EMR interface with the physician system can be a difficult job. It is often not within the capabilities of the most knowledgeable health professional, therefore an outside company is hired to help with EMR integration. The IT expert is responsible for the technology framework for integration which allows the doctor’s office to send orders electronically to hospitals and labs. Each of the parties work with the same medical records, examining and editing information when needed.
If the doctor logs in to the physician portal, or the hospital or lab uses its own portal, everyone sees the same information. This is intended to improve collaboration during treatment, decrease cost resulting from redundant data, and decrease the chance of mistakes. Medical professionals and health administrators should be knowledgeable about the application of the system as it is likely that they will require to understand the system’s workings from a variety of viewpoints.
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