EMR Systems in Health Care: Assessment and Implementation

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EMR Systems Assessment and Implementation Introduction The days of paper-based records in health care are fading. It is widely believed that the broad adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems can lead to major health care savings, help eliminate medical errors, and improve healthcare outcomes for patients (Lynn, 2011). Because of such benefits, the Obama administration included EMR adoption in health care as a part of its overall agenda calling for "the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America's medical records are computerized" (Obama, 2009). Moving to an EMR system from a paper-based records system requires careful analysis, thorough assessment, and a competent implementation team. The selected EMR solution should meet the needs of the organization's specific clinical and business practices and improve workflows and overall patient outcomes. This paper addresses ways that organizations can determine EMR needs, conduct a proper assessment, and implement for success and a positive return on investment (ROI) . The EMR System EMR systems are collections of digital records kept by health care facilities and affiliates such as hospitals, doctor's offices, and insurance companies (Lynn, 2011). They are also referred to as EHRs (electronic health records) - both names can be used interchangeably. The intention of the EMR system is to extend health information technology into the realm of patient record keeping and automated
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