Whereas previously, electronic document management (EDM) was still a hyped trend in the medical world, healthcare organizations have been rapidly adopting these solutions in order to keep up with rising regulatory demands and patient expectations for care. By eliminating inefficient paper-based processes, these technologies allow for better decision-making, which is critical when it comes to treatment.
PhysBizTech reported that as these tools have become more advanced and cutting-edge, the healthcare industry has begun to widely embrace them. The source cited CompTIA research that six in 10 providers have at least some elements of an electronic medical records (EMR) system in place, and three in four believe mobility has a positive impact on healthcare. Another 62 percent of respondents believe they will be relying on mobile apps to access healthcare information regularly.
"It takes time for emerging technologies to mature and for users to make sufficient progress along the learning curve before the benefits of innovation can be realized," said CompTIA vice president of research Tim Herbert, according to the source. "We're now beginning to see this happen in the healthcare sector."
PhysBizTech pointed to Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Georgia as one example of an organization that has made a paperless transition. Physicians and other staff are now able to view patient files and order medications on the digital portal, while patients can easily access test results. The source also noted that doctors can now take notes on iPads and instantaneously view updates on these devices. Further, board members can find agendas, calendars and other news through the document management system.
New guidelines drive EDM adoption
There are other incentives for deploying these technologies beyond accessibility and convenience. TechTarget reported that with stage two of meaningful use requirements impending healthcare organizations are looking to improve patient engagement with and access to medical information. And according to PhysBizTech, when these agencies fail to use EMRs, they risk losing their benefits due to an increased chance of medical mistakes or poorly-informed decisions and unnecessary tests.
When considering a transition to EDM, PhysBizTech advised assessing all needs and deploying a flexible, scalable solution. As ineffective use of these technologies could potentially promote fraud or privacy protection issues, it is important to use a conversion services provider that is reliable and can support proper implementation and use of the technology.
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