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Electronic Medical Records

An electronic medical record (EMR) is a computer-based patient record specific to a single clinical practice, such as a family health team or group practice.

In clinical settings where there are a number of doctors, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals, EMRs can improve communication between them and support productivity. EMRs can also improve communication between health care providers and patients, positively impacting health outcomes and patient safety.

Video: Dr. Alex Summers’s Story: Making Informed Decisions

 

Benefits of EMRs

  • EMR use results in health system level benefits, such as reduced numbers of duplicate tests and adverse drug events
  • Community-based practices experience efficiencies in workflow as staff time is redeployed
  • Advance use of EMRs can improve health outcomes and patient safety through preventative care and chronic disease management
  • EMR use supports improved interactions and communications among care team members and between providers and patients

Advanced Use of EMRs

The advanced use of electronic medical records (EMRs) can improve health outcomes and patient safety through preventative care and chronic disease management and is achieved when health care providers move beyond simple data capture and sharing to using more advanced functionality offered by most EMRs. Examples of advanced use of EMRs include:

  • More complete medication profiles
  • Lab results history
  • Prevention care reminders
  • Clinical decision support
  • Hospital discharge summaries

Physicians who actively manage their practice using EMR data and use advanced EMR functions, such as patient population management tools and alerts prompting follow-up for those in need, report improved chronic disease management and prevention, better diabetes management, improved immunization rates and higher cancer screening rates.

Advancing Care

In 2014, Infoway hosted the “Advancing Care: Optimizing the Use and Value of Digital Health” Symposium. Participants brought rich and varied experiences in health care, sharing insights and learnings on leadership, quality, change management, professional practice considerations that are essential to continued effective adoption of technology in clinical practice. Download the Advancing Care: Optimizing the Use and Value of Digital Health summary report to learn more.

 

Benefits of EMRs

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) provide health care teams with a more complete picture of their patients' health and can improve communication among members of the care team, as well as between them and their patients. According to a pan-Canadian study, electronic medical records can:

  • Enhance efficiencies in community-based practices and allow staff to focus on patient care
  • Reduce the number of duplicate tests that are ordered, resulting in health care system efficiencies
  • Improve patient safety by reducing adverse drug events
  • Support improved interactions and communications among care team members and between providers and patients
  • Improve health outcomes when used for preventive care and chronic disease management

 

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