The management of medical transcription, medicare billing, cpt codes, and other medical records has typically consisted of wall to wall files of paper records. According to a recent survey conducted by Accenture, most health care consumers feel that switching to the electronic medical record would improve the quality of health care and the security of their records.
Accenture was not the first to tap into the electronic medical record possibilities. Pres. Bush, quoting health care experts in January of 2005, said that the electronic medical record could reduce medical costs by 20%. In his State of the Union address in 2004, Bush said he would like to see all paper medical records converted to electronic medical records within 10 years.
Electronic Medical Records are “Preventative Medicine”
Pres. Bush has often referred to his proposals for changes in medical practice as “Preventative Medicine.” That title would be an accurate title for the way American health care consumers feel about switching to the electronic medical record. According to the Accenture survey, 92% of the respondents agreed that switching to the electronic medical record system would reduce health care errors. Not only do an overwhelming majority of health care consumers feel that health care errors would be reduced, but 93% of respondents feel that the switch to the electronic medical record would improve the overall quality of health care.
This is understandable for anyone who has had to go to the emergency room and wait for an undetermined amount of time to receive admission or proper treatment. Part of the reason for the delay is finding medical records. Doctors fear mistreatment of patients, and they avoid rushing into the treatment of patients for whom they have no records. An electronic medical record will move things along considerably. An electronic record can be transferred instantaneously between databases, providing faster and better treatment. Pres. Bush went so far as to say that more lives would be saved. Indeed, the electronic medical record seems to be the safer choice.
Health care consumers feel the same way about the electronic medical record improving the speed of health care. 78% of respondents to the Accenture survey believe that the electronic medical record “will reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.”
The Electronic Medical Record is a Preventative Medicine that is Not Only Safer but also Cheaper
Imagine reducing the cost of medical care, as Pres. Bush imagined. There could be many reasons why the faster, safer, electronic medical record reduces health care costs. Whatever the reason, consumers agree with Pres. Bush. In fact, 75% of the respondents to the Accenture survey also said that they believe the electronic medical record will reduce medical costs.
The change to an electronic medical record system is very much a business and consumer affair. Pres. Bush’s “preventative medicine” could provide a safer, faster, cheaper, and overall higher quality health care system.