Feature | February 14, 2013

Electronic Records Increasingly Sought by Medical Professionals, Says Atlanta's Business Computer Applications

More efficient recording system needed to handle impending U.S. patient avalanche

Electronic Medical Records Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care

February 14, 2013 — Hospitals, clinics and office-based physicians are increasingly turning to electronic medical records (EMRs) as they prepare for the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care (PPAHC) act, says Albert Woodard, CEO of Atlanta-based Business Computer Applications, a company devoted to digitizing medical records.

"Medical practitioners are bracing for a triple whammy as, in addition to the PPAHC, they are also facing a wave of retiring baby boomers coupled with a predicted shortage of qualified medical staff," says Woodard. Some 80 million aging baby boomers are landing on Medicare roles at a rate of 7,000 a day according to AARP; the PPAHC is expected to flood the system with another 32 million patients; and a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forecast says health care staff shortages will worsen in 2014.

"The strain all of this will put on our health care system is enormous," says Woodard, "thus forcing medical providers to search for more efficient and effective methods to operate their practices."

Woodard singled out a December 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that across the U.S. office-based physicians are increasingly turning to EMRs. "EMRs can aid in improving quality of care, reduce errors and increase efficiency by making patients' medical history accessible to anybody who treats them," he says.

Paper records, which most physicians have traditionally relied on, will no longer be practical or effective. A study published by the RAND Health Information Technology Project (HIT) says the U.S. healthcare system is the world's largest and most inefficient enterprise with most records still stored on paper, which means that they cannot be used to coordinate care, routinely measure quality or reduce medical errors.

In 2012 the CDC study says that about 72 percent of office-based physicians in the United States used an EMR/EHR system, a 26 percent increase from a 2011 estimate.

"As we move through 2013 we will see more marriages between computers and healthcare in physician's office, hospitals and clinics as information technology continues to move from the billing departments and other back office functions into the examining room," says Woodard. The 2008 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs the healthcare industry to transition from being paper dependent to information technology.

The CDC report indicates that change is coming fast. And incentives are there to speed the momentum. The federal government is promising financial benefits for those that do and penalties for those who do not. The Department of Health and Human Services is offering financial incentives to hospitals and doctors' practices that can achieve what it calls "meaningful use" of EMRs by certain dates. On the other hand, doctors and institutions that do not comply or fall behind in the "meaningful use" category by 2015 will receive lower reimbursement rates for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients.

"EMRs can help reduce errors, provide better access to health information, improve care coordination, save millions of dollars and alleviate a shortage of qualified healthcare professionals," says Woodard. "They can even overcome the old problem of poor handwriting making it easier to read progress notes that physicians have written."

For more information: www.BCA.us

Related Content

HHS, health information sharing, funding opportunities, data standards
News | Information Technology| May 16, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two funding opportunities from the Office of the...
anayltics software, health analytics, cath lab analytics, lumedex
Sponsored Content | Case Study | Analytics Software| May 13, 2016
The hospitals of UnityPoint Health – Des Moines operate under a shared vision “Best outcome for every patient, every
Sponsored Content | Videos | HIMSS| May 13, 2016
ITN/DAIC Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the most innovative new trends and health information t
Radiation dose management, radiation dose monitoring, X-ray dose

Analytics from Sectra’s radiation dose monitoring software showing procedures where dose levels were higher than normal for various X-ray modalities. 

Feature | Radiation Dose Management| May 12, 2016 | Lori Webb, R.T. (R) and Tom Watson, RCVT
Healthcare organizations, clinicians and medical equipment manufacturers have long focused on the management and redu
mobile health apps, FTC, compliance tool, business guidance, privacy
News | Mobile Devices| April 25, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has created a Web-based guidance tool for developers of health-...
Siemens Sensis Vibe, hemodyanamics system

Siemens released the Sensis Vibe hemodyanamics system at ACC.16. The newer system offers better integration of cath lab data into cath lab reports and the electronic medical record (EMR).

Feature | ACC| April 25, 2016 | Jon Brubaker, MBA, RCVT, Tom Watson, BS, RCVT, and Sabrina Newell MS, RCS
There were several trends seen in new cardiovascular technologies showcased on the expo floor at the 2016 American...
Inventory management, analytics software, cardiology

An example of a page from GE Healthcare's Cloud analytics software, showing percentage use of a hospital's operating rooms by procedure type and showing a breakdown of surgical supplies in drill down for one of these procedures.

Feature | Analytics Software| April 15, 2016 | Dave Fornell
With all areas of healthcare now migrating to electronic medical record (EMR) platforms, the data they contain can be
Sponsored Content | Videos | Inventory Management| April 15, 2016
Healthcare reform is changing the way you provide care.
Sponsored Content | Videos | ACC| April 15, 2016
DAIC Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the trends and interesting new technologies from the vendor booths o
Sponsored Content | Videos | ACC| April 15, 2016
MDbuyline clinical analyst Tom Watson, BS, RCVT, explains the new technology trends he saw on the expo floor at ACC.1
Overlay Init