Many health care practitioners are still reluctant to implement electronic medical records (EMRs) despite increasing evidence of their benefits to practices and patients as well as significant financial incentives from the federal governmentâ€”but the following five myths should not be among your reasons for reluctance.
EMRs are primarily for hospitals. EMRs are used more in large medical facilities, but they’re quickly gaining traction among small health care practices as well.
It’s hard to learn to operate an EMR. While there is a learning curve during EMR adoption as with any new technology, EMRs are increasingly easy to use, and many adopters are back to normal operations within as little as three weeks. Moreover, once implemented, EMRs can actually make work easier and significantly improve workflows with tools such as dictation software and an integrated dashboard to keep important information at your fingertips.
EMRs destroy the interaction between doctors and patients. According to a 2010 Government Accountability Office report, EMRs actually help doctors gain more information about a patient and thus improve communication.
EMRs present a security risk. Federal regulations give EMRs significant protection: Health care practitioners need login credentials to access charts, and the EMR’s system tracks access. Plus, data is backed up so it’s protected from disasters such as floods and fires, which would destroy paper charts,
EMRs are expensive. New EMR technology is emerging that is both effective and affordable, making it easier for small practices to join the EMR revolution.