In the past, and not all that long ago, after waiting in your doctor’s office, your provider would walk into the room with a folder containing a portion of your medical history recorded at that specific location. What about your history from other locations? What about your hospital and emergency department visits? What about things that happened to you when you were a child? Could that folder really be considered your comprehensive record?
There have been many medical advances and innovations over time leading to better healthcare. One of the more significant advances is the electronic medical record (EMR), sometimes referred to as electronic health records. EMRs contain not just a digital version of that folder, but increasingly more of what happened elsewhere. This comprehensive medical record helps your provider better diagnose and treat you. It also comes with many benefits.
Electronic Medical Records allow you to:
- Track your health history and data over time. You can easily scan your health history as you might an electronic book. You receive better care because your provider can similarly access more of your health history.
- Play a more active role in your healthcare, automatically receiving notices when you are due for preventive screenings and visits.
- Communicate with your provider. If you visit multiple doctors within one network or visit a doctor outside your usual network who has the same EMR system, they all may have access to your EMR. If so, they can more easily coordinate your care and find the best options for you.
Benefits of EMRs do not only favor providers. Your EMR is designed to help you and your family become more meaningfully involved in your healthcare process. Your EMR patient portal allows you to review medical history and results for you and your family. You can also easily communicate with your provider, giving you more timely information and reducing the need for follow-up visits.
Overall, EMRs improve how you experience healthcare and ensure that everyone in your network is in the know about your healthcare journey – especially you!