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Electronic Medical Records
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a vast improvement over paper records. They allow more than one person to use a patient s chart, are usually better organized than paper records, eliminate illegible handwriting, and allow storage of more information.
EMRs are one of the best ways to boost patient safety, manage chronic illnesses, and improve the efficiency of a practice. They also offer an excellent way to prescribe medication.
Additionally, the use of EMRs is now being encouraged by the federal government through the release of its Meaningful Use standards, released in 2010. These standards outline a set of EMR use requirements for physicians who wish to be eligible for payments through Medicare and Medicaid. In the future, hospitals not in line with the requirements of Meaningful Use will be penalized.
Partners is a leader in physician adoption of electronic medical records, including the Partners-built LMR (Longitudinal Medical Record). In fact, 100% of our primary and specialty physicians in ambulatory care on an electronic health record.
The EMR technology used at Partners HealthCare is secure. It gives caregivers the same complete health information for a patient so that he or she receives safe and coordinated care. And, when doctors prescribe drugs through the EMR, drug allergies and drug interactions can be prevented. The tool can also prescribe cost-effective drugs, when appropriate, to save everyone money.
For the past few years, Partners has targeted e-prescribing as an important component of effective use of the LMR/EMR. E-prescribing as a part of EMR functionality is a high-value transaction, said PCHI CIO Cindy Bero.
For one thing, an electronic copy of the prescription is stored and accessible in the EMR, said Bero. For another, the decision support built into the EMR/LMR helps ensure that the prescription ordered is appropriate for example, that there are no drug-drug interactions. E-prescribing is an important tool in the drive toward improved quality, safety, and cost-containment.
Quality and Safety at Partners
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