The Importance of Electronic Medical Records in Computerized Health Information System

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Introduction Electronic medical records are the core element in computerized health information system. These systems are constructed with a staggering ability to provide integrated, articulated information. At the center of these systems rest electronic medical records. The strength of these articulated medical records systems is their ability to integrate information from specialists, disciplines, providers, and operators (Coiera, 2003). From fragmented, incomplete paper-based systems that are often difficult to locate and difficult to read once they are found, the move to electronic medical records provides a cohesive, current, accurate, shareable, immediately retrievable source of medical information that consumes fewer administrative resources and requires considerably less space to accommodate (Coiera, 2003). Benefit to patient. Perhaps the greatest benefit experienced by the patient through the use of electronic medical records is the provision of integrated support for discrete care activities. Medical care for one patient's particular health issue can entail a wide range of activities, all of which must be coordinated and the results of which must be communicated to pertinent care providers (Coiera, 2003). These activities can include initial decision support, monitoring of the patient's condition, ordering laboratory work, displaying results from laboratory and other tests, prescribing, referrals to radiology and other departments or clinics, and support for
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