The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided a wide-range plan to stimulate the economy, including over $20 billion in grants, loans and incentives to expand the use of IT health infrastructures in hospitals and clinical practices. To receive these incentives, clinicians must implement Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and demonstrate their “meaningful use,” the criteria of which has been officially defined by ARRA.
Electronic Medical Records: A Gradual Transition
With purposeful planning, achieving ARRA-defined meaningful use is accomplished in incremental phases over an extended period of time. A transition of this magnitude will certainly happen gradually and require a lot of effort, but throughout the process, health care providers will recognize the long-term, truly meaningful impact of their efforts: better care for patients, and improved efficiency for medical professionals.
While the share of U.S. hospitals that had adopted either basic or comprehensive electronic medical records rose modestly between 2008 and 2009, from 8.7 percent to 11.9 percent, many hospitals have proactively progressed toward full meaningful use compliance in 2010.
Electronic Medical Records: Progress in 2010
Recently, several organizations have conducted surveys designed to take a broad look at the breadth of adoption, implementation and use of IT in hospitals. For example, the Hospital and Health Networks conducted a 2010 survey called Health Care’s Most Wired 2010. This survey resulted in the encouraging news that progress is being made in the goal for health care systems to attain Meaningful Use status by the 2015 deadline.
In contrast to obsolete findings conducted in 2009, Health Care’s Most Wired 2010 reported that hospitals have made notable progress in the adoption of individual health IT functions, specifically in the area of deploying computerized provider order entry systems. Significantly, 82 percent of the hospitals that participated in the survey and 51 percent of hospitals overall synchronize alerts for physicians, nurses and pharmacists.
In addition to several other individual health IT functions, this survey confirmed that 90% of the hospitals used electronic medical records to perform various aspects of automated medication reconciliation. In this area, electronic medical records develop a list of a patient’s current medications and medications to be prescribed. It compares the two lists and provides the patient with an updated medication list. This is one of several IT functions designed to ensure that the right patient receives the right medication at the right time.
Electronic Medical Records: Implementation
If you need further information about the implementation of electronic medical records and how they improve efficiency for medical professionals, contact e-MDs, a leader in the electronic medical records software industry. e-MDs will help you understand how to use your electronic medical records system or assess and upgrade your current system in a way that achieves ARRA-defined meaningful use.
e-MDs offers a host of affordable, certified EMR solutions for physicians and health care providers looking to modernize or enhance their services with the latest electronic medical records technology. e-MDs is committed to providing affordable and integrated EMR and Practice Management Software solutions, including clinical, financial and document management modules designed to automate medical practice processes and chart management – delivering the clinical tools needed to succeed in today’s health care environment.
You can find additional detailed information about all the different services and benefits an EMR system has to offer your practice by contacting a representative right now at 1.888.344.9836 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting them online at www.e-mds.com.