Digitalizing of Medical Records
With advancement in mobile technology, cloud computing, machine learning to transcribe hand-writing, and artificial intelligence for analytics, we can work towards finding a feasible solution to record the prescriptions in digital format so as to supplement the doctors in urban as well as rural areas
A lot of buzz and frenzy is seen in implementing Electronic Health Records (EHR) throughout the world. Most of the time, both are used interchangeably but there is a considerable difference that needs to be demystified.
An EMR electronic medical record (EMR) contains the standard medical and clinical data gathered in one provider’s office. EMR is a digital version of a paper chart that contains all of a patient’s medical history from one practice.
Benefits of Electronic Medical Records: An EMR is more beneficial than paper records because it allows providers to :
- To analyze the data
- Improve overall quality of care
However, the information stored in EMRs is not easily shared with others outside of practice.
On the other hand, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) go beyond the data collected in the provider’s office and include a more comprehensive medical history. EHRs are designed to contain and share information from all providers involved in a patient’s care. EHR data can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized providers and staff from across more than one health-care organization. EHRs enable providers to give the best possible medical care, whether during a routine outpatient visit or in an emergency, by providing the information they need to evaluate a patient’s current condition.
The Medical Records can be broken into many parts:
- Doctors’ notes in the outpatient setting
- Doctors’ notes in the inpatient setting
- Notes by paramedics and lab reports.
Various solution providers like the HIS providers are concentrating on the inpatient medical records. Although good efforts are being made in capturing lab reports, but recording doctor’s notes on a regular basis will give much detailed analytics.
Ideally, every country should have a nationwide Electronic Health Record program.
- The Government should come up with a framework for Electronic Health Records
- Various service providers provide the service based upon the above framework
- All hospitals and clinics both Government and Private participate in this program
However, there are challenges to incentivize the hospitals and doctors to participate in this program.
Changing the entire workflow would be difficult as it would require providing computers at each point and would expect the doctors to type. We should find innovative and easy way to analyze doctors’ prescriptions in their own hand-writing to make health-care much efficient without changing the existing workflow.
With advancement in mobile technology, cloud computing, machine learning to transcribe hand-writing, and artificial intelligence for analytics, we can work towards finding a feasible solution to record the prescriptions in digital format so as to supplement the doctors in urban as well as rural areas. Integration of such applications and digital analytics will help in finding the appropriate drugs for Indian patients as well as surveillance for public healthcare.