According to a recent survey conducted among the medical practitioners, a large number of physicians use electronic records to keep their patients’ information. Such a wide usage of electronic medical record systems has indicated that most physicians rely on various forms of information technology to run their practices.
The survey showed that almost 75 percent of doctors across the country used web based electronic medical record systems to enter their patients’ clinical notes on their devices. In fact, the rate at which the doctors rely on technology nowadays to keep their patients’ records has tripled to what it was around seven years ago.
As stated by Dr. Garey Mazowta, president of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, “I think physicians have wanted to be in the 21st century, but the reality is it’s not a case of flipping a switch. A physician who’s had a long-standing paper-based practice, you have to face the challenge of scanning and digitizing what might be 2,000 charts, with pages and pages of information and entering the information into the correct field. And these are docs who are already working in excess of 50, often 60 hours a week. It’s just inherently not an easy journey to make the transition.” Garey Mazowta has been administering the survey with two other doctor groups.
The report suggested that the physicians in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario were the most dependent on electronic medical record systems, whereas the medical practitioners in Quebec didn’t prefer relying on technology for storing patient data. Also, around 65 percent of the physicians said that the digitalization of the medical records has led to the overall improvement in the facilities and care provided to the patients in the healthcare organizations and has rose to almost nine percentage points when compared to last year.
The main benefits of using electronic medical record data were that it allowed to get the lab results more quickly as well as to access a patient’s chart more remotely. Commenting on this aspect, Garey Mazowta also stated that “And now, particularly with the family doctors who are completely paper-free, really you’ve ideally got all of that information at your fingertips.”
The digitalization of the medical records has thus resulted in the advancement of the care and facilities provided to the patients in hospitals. It is clear that the dependence on technology has very much led to improvements in the healthcare sector.