While the 2012 London Games are widely popular in the United States because of an elaborate Opening Ceremonies and some controversy over NBC and its choice of airing events, they are also famous in the medical sector for a different reason. This is the first time that the United States Olympic Committee instituted the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), rather than paper charts, to manage the care of its 700 athletes and 3,000 staff and volunteers.
According to a Businessweek Healthcare article, the USOC used General Electric's Centricity Practice Solution, "which integrates EMR with practice management technology, to manage the care of more than 700 American athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and for 3,000 additional records maintained by USOC staff."
However, not all Americans are as confident about the effectiveness and security of EMRs.
The third annual Electronic Health Records (EHR) online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that only 40 percent of respondents believe digital records will deliver better, more efficient care. That number is 2 percent lower from last year's survey. Overall, 85 percent of the 2,147 U.S. adults surveyed expressed concern about EMRs.
Even so, as proven with the increased use of technology at the Olympic Games, healthcare providers are beginning to adapt to the digital world. Of those surveyed, 60 percent who have visited a doctor or hospital, said that the information was entered directly into a tablet, laptop or in-room computer station.
To help put patients at ease, and ensure a flawless implementation of new programs, hospitals would be well-advised to work with a healthcare consulting company. These professionals can make sure that providers are properly educated in everything from EMRs to e-prescribing software, which will assure patients they will be taken care of and their information properly protected.