The healthcare industry has witnessed rapid technological development since its inception. Advanced and innovative technologies have revolutionized their operational dynamics and have benefitted both patients and physicians alike.
One such advancement is the use of EMR/EHR technologies in the medical field and its growing relevance during the forecast period.
This article discusses the importance of EMR/EHR technologies in the context of Indian medical industries.
Keep scrolling to know more.
What are EMR and EHR?
EMR and EHR are two synonymously used abbreviations in the medical industry despite recognized differences.
EMR (Electronic Medical Record) is a database software containing patient information.
Usually available in a digital format, it comprises the medical history of a patient in addition to his/her diagnosis, medications, treatment and post-treatment care, immunization therapies, etc.
On the other hand, EHR (Electronic Health Record) also maintains a digital database of patient information. However, EHR is much more dynamic than EMR as the access of the former is available to both patients and physicians concerned and not just the administrative staff.
Furthermore, the use of an EMR is limited to a hospital facility or a private clinic. HER, on the other hand, carries wider utility and can be accessed even from a patients’ residential or office premises.
Nonetheless, despite differences, both EMR and EHR stand pertinent for hospitals and the patients.
Importance of EMR and EHR?
EMR and EHR technologies have multifarious advantages such as:
Fosters communication and coordination among physicians, patients, and a hospital’s administrative staff.
Reduction of health disparities.
Maintaining the patient’s privacy and security conditions.
Lowering down of errors as compared to manual record-keeping.
Trackable record of saved data and results.
Reduction in evidenced-based decisions when it comes to providing extensive patient care.
Availability of follow-up information after every patient appointment, visit (even virtual consultations).
Saves space for accumulating paper records.
Reduces operational costs and administrative challenges.
Boosts research and the overall brand credentials of a hospital facility.
Inbuilt safeguards to prevent incorrect prescription and medication.
Workflow optimizations leading to an increase in the number of patients visits per day.
Integrates patient’s data to community health systems and government-based health initiatives.
Keeps a dedicated track of processed payments and insurance claims.
Reimbursement of meaningful medical and healthcare services.
Use of EMR and EHR in India
Honestly speaking, the use of EMR and HER is still at a low pace in a developing country like India. As compared to other nations, India lags in the technological use of database software integrations.
Even now many patients have to carry huge folders containing their medical reports, prescription manuals, and treatment bills for future reference. This is because many small and medium scaled hospitals do not facilitate the digital optimization of their medical and health records.
Furthermore, governments are trying their best to incorporate adequate and secure EMR and EHR software services in their hospitals but still their efforts go in vain. As of now, Kerala is the first state which has successfully stored its patient record on the EHR system.
The state of Kerala has saved the record of around 2.58 crore patients through its ‘eHealth’ project.
National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB)
In 2019, the Indian government proposed the National Digital Health Blueprint. According to this plan, it aimed to synchronize all hospitals with the seamless integration of electronic patient health records.
This plan proposed the adoption of the digital interface in promoting patient healthcare and disease management. It issues specific standards and protocols for maintaining well-formed IT systems for tracking and exchanging significant healthcare information.
The Road Ahead
Nonetheless, Indian has comprehensive plans and guidelines to promote the use of AI-based HRH systems. As per the recent report of the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry, major hospitals of India are now on the verge of integration with a suitable ICT infrastructure.
Facilities such as AIIMS, Delhi, PGIMER, and Chandigarh have this equipment for a few years. Yet others still have a long way to go to achieve their IT aspirations to the fullest.
For example, Max Healthcare is currently betting on speech to text technology to capture data for curtailing the medical error in medicine administration. The hospital is also evaluating technologies to make EHR available on the doctor's tablet or mobile for better patient care and data capturing. Next, Apollo, Columbia Asia, Narayana Health, Shankara Nethralaya, and Aravind Eyecare are some potential players in the healthcare sector that are working on AI solutions for advanced patient care.
Thus, big data and artificial intelligence are the need of the hour and EMR/EHR integrations may catalyze their significance. India as a country has much to visualize in terms of rising ailments and the requirement of intensive patient care therapies.
For this, the government and private agencies join hands to upgrade the dynamics of the Digital India Movement. ZEPNURhealth supports this groundbreaking endeavor and looks forward to optimistic dawn.