Many medical facilities and hospitals are transitioning to electronic medical records (EMRs). While the process is not expected to be completely devoid of issues, there are ways to healthcare organizations to keep it as smooth as possible.
Enlisting the assistance of a firm that specializes in healthcare IT consulting can be of great help. In addition to accurately storing patient data, it's important to properly train employees so they will understand the intricacies of new systems and keep information safe and secure.
However, there are still some critics of EMRs, specifically when it comes to lax regulations instituted under Medicare for these new systems. A recent New York Times article discussed a report from federal investigators that criticized how the government insurance program is working with new technology.
According to the findings, Medicare has failed to put in place adequate safeguards to ensure that information being provided by hospitals and doctors about their electronic records systems is accurate. Doctors and hospitals must prove that EMRs lead to better patient care in order to receive incentives. But, the report said Medicare faces certain obstacles that will prevent this from occurring.
"Protecting taxpayer dollars is our top priority and we have implemented aggressive procedures to hold providers accountable," a Medicare spokesperson said in a statement. "Making a false claim is a serious offense with serious consequences and we believe the overwhelming majority of doctors and hospitals take seriously their responsibility to honestly report their performance."
Medical facilities need to ensure that all preparations and precautions are being taken in the transition to EMRs. Working with a physician consultant can ensure that employees are well-trained in new systems and understand how they will affect patient care. Healthcare IT consulting firms will also be beneficial, as consultants will work with facilities to transition easily and remain compliant in order to receive incentives.