Do we need EMR Lite?

Several non-EHR users are beginning to see the value of an EMR and are taking the path of going paperless and staying connected.  As some providers continue the use of HIEs (Health Information Exchanges) some of the caregivers are turning to the new EHR alternative being offered, called ‘Lite-EHR’.  This helps physicians to have immediate access to all patient treatment information.  It also permits the highest level of care possible resulting in improved workflow, reduced costs and better patient care. 

An electronic health record is an electric version of a patients’ medical history that is maintained by the provider over time. It may comprise all of the key administrative clinical data applicable to that person’s care under a specific provider, including, progress notes, vital signs, demographics, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The EMR has potential to support other care-related activities directly or indirectly through various interfaces, including evidence based decision support, and quality management.

There are numerous specialties that necessitate more than what a general EMR can do for them. Consequentially, the debate over specialty specific EMRs boils down to one specialty. The primary care physicians may do well with the multi-specialty EMR. For example, a cardiology clinic is using the appropriate templates, while rheumatologists may prefer a specialty system.

Do we need EMR Lite

Some specialties like radiology, pathology, anesthesiology, dental, chiropractic etc. are exempted from the compulsion use of the EMR as they do not need a minimum level of threshold. Though there is no need to go back to the paper charts as iPatientCare encourages to have ‘lite version of EMR’ to keep the practice moving at an organized pace.

An EMR has numerous templates, and reports and many physicians are still struggling to use the EMR.  They are spending more time with filling the information in the EMR and spending less time with the patients. A ‘lite weight EMR’ basis on only minimum requirement to better patient care and quality covering multi-specialty. The features that are common for all, can continue to use the digital chart and not go back to the paper chart.

This lite version or compact version is for the physicians using a paper chart or going back to the paper chart. This is how the iPatientCare encourages the physicians to continue the use of EMR. Paper charts require additional personnel to handle and support paper files and to organize countless documents. Some medical practices need to store paper medical records in large warehouses, where they occupy space and with time they deteriorate.  If other physicians need a particular patient’s records, they need to be faxed, scanned or emailed.  Paper records are more vulnerable to break in, losing it by staff member or by a natural disaster such as fire or flood.

Although physicians may experience some initial costs, electronic medical records can be stored very securely in the cloud allowing the use of fewer resources and gives the ability to access data anytime and anywhere.  EMR is the next step in the continued progress of healthcare that can strengthen the relationship between patients and clinicians. The data and the promptness and accessibility of it will empower providers to make effective decisions and proffer better care. For example, the EMR can help improve patient care by reducing the incidence of medical error and by improving the accuracy and clarity of medical records.


About the Author:

Shripal received MBA degree in MIS from the Wilmington University. With more than a decade of experience, he has been steering iPatientCare to success resulting into truly SaaS based integrated suite of products utilizing web based and on premise servers.  He has been a proponent of designing the software architecture that conceals some of the exceptionally complex set of engineering concepts.  He has also worked with leading IT innovators, such as, IBM.

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