Practice Fusion Identifies Top Five Worst Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Myths

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Top myths about Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption in the US. Find out why doctors are concerned about making the EMR transition in their office.

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With Washington in the midst of a big push for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption in the US, rumors are flying about exactly what the switch from paper charts to EMR will mean. Practice Fusion has identified the top 5 worst EMR myths and investigated the real story behind the rumor:
1.    EMRs are bad for “bedside manner” – Does a computer ruin the interaction between patients and doctors? The opposite is true according to a 2010 GAO report. The study found that EMRs help doctors have more information about the patient and contribute to better communication. A good EMR allows a doctor to spend more time with a patient and less with paperwork. Plus, patients can get real-time access to their own health records online through the doctor’s EMR system.

2.    You can’t teach old doctors new tricks – Change is hard, right? Although there is an initial learning curve during the EMR adoption process, an easy to use EMR can significantly improve workflows once an EMR is fully implemented. Older physicians often lead the charge for an EMR transition in order to prepare their practice for sale when they retire. Tools like dictation software and customizable templates can help win over even the most technology-adverse docs.

3.    Only hospitals use EMRs – While EMRs are more common in large medical facilities such as hospitals, health technology is starting to sweep smaller private practices. Private practice physicians deliver more than 80% of all care provided tor uninsured patients and serve as the front-lines for primary care in the US – so getting them to use technology that improves the quality of care is especially important.

4.    Having my data stored in an EMR is a security risk – Big myth. Federal HIPAA regulations are very strict about who can see inside your chart and give your EMR records protection beyond what’s possible with paper charts. In order to open an electronic chart, a medical professional needs strict login permissions. The EMR system tracks each time your records are accessed and backs up data in a safe and secure way so that records are always available to you and your doctors when needed. Plus, web-based EMR systems protect from disasters, floods, building fires, and tornadoes that could easily destroy paper records.

5.    EMRs are crazy expensive – Okay, so our final myth is actually true a lot of the time. Legacy EMR vendors still charge small medical practices $100k or more for software with additional money spent on hardware and IT maintenance. However, new affordable EMR technology has made it easier for small practices to join the technology transformation. In fact, Practice Fusion offers its EMR entirely for free to any medical practice through a unique web-based, ad-supported business model.

Practice Fusion is a free, web-based Electronic Medical Record system. Over 100,000 healthcare providers use Practice Fusion for charting, scheduling, e-prescribing and sharing records with patients. For more information, please visit http://www.practicefusion.com

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Helen Phung
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