Feature | February 14, 2013

Electronic Records Increasingly Sought by Medical Professionals, Says Atlanta's Business Computer Applications

More efficient recording system needed to handle impending U.S. patient avalanche

Electronic Medical Records Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care

February 14, 2013 — Hospitals, clinics and office-based physicians are increasingly turning to electronic medical records (EMRs) as they prepare for the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care (PPAHC) act, says Albert Woodard, CEO of Atlanta-based Business Computer Applications, a company devoted to digitizing medical records.

"Medical practitioners are bracing for a triple whammy as, in addition to the PPAHC, they are also facing a wave of retiring baby boomers coupled with a predicted shortage of qualified medical staff," says Woodard. Some 80 million aging baby boomers are landing on Medicare roles at a rate of 7,000 a day according to AARP; the PPAHC is expected to flood the system with another 32 million patients; and a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forecast says health care staff shortages will worsen in 2014.

"The strain all of this will put on our health care system is enormous," says Woodard, "thus forcing medical providers to search for more efficient and effective methods to operate their practices."

Woodard singled out a December 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that across the U.S. office-based physicians are increasingly turning to EMRs. "EMRs can aid in improving quality of care, reduce errors and increase efficiency by making patients' medical history accessible to anybody who treats them," he says.

Paper records, which most physicians have traditionally relied on, will no longer be practical or effective. A study published by the RAND Health Information Technology Project (HIT) says the U.S. healthcare system is the world's largest and most inefficient enterprise with most records still stored on paper, which means that they cannot be used to coordinate care, routinely measure quality or reduce medical errors.

In 2012 the CDC study says that about 72 percent of office-based physicians in the United States used an EMR/EHR system, a 26 percent increase from a 2011 estimate.

"As we move through 2013 we will see more marriages between computers and healthcare in physician's office, hospitals and clinics as information technology continues to move from the billing departments and other back office functions into the examining room," says Woodard. The 2008 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs the healthcare industry to transition from being paper dependent to information technology.

The CDC report indicates that change is coming fast. And incentives are there to speed the momentum. The federal government is promising financial benefits for those that do and penalties for those who do not. The Department of Health and Human Services is offering financial incentives to hospitals and doctors' practices that can achieve what it calls "meaningful use" of EMRs by certain dates. On the other hand, doctors and institutions that do not comply or fall behind in the "meaningful use" category by 2015 will receive lower reimbursement rates for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients.

"EMRs can help reduce errors, provide better access to health information, improve care coordination, save millions of dollars and alleviate a shortage of qualified healthcare professionals," says Woodard. "They can even overcome the old problem of poor handwriting making it easier to read progress notes that physicians have written."

For more information: www.BCA.us

Related Content

Canon Medical Receives FDA Clearance for AiCE Reconstruction Technology for CT
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 18, 2019
Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. has received 510(k) clearance on its new deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) image...
Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center Implements Digisonics Solution for OB Ultrasound
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | June 17, 2019
Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center in Warm Springs, Ore., has selected the Digisonics OB PACS (picture archiving...
Konica Minolta Healthcare Introduces New Financing Services Program for Exa Enterprise Imaging
News | Enterprise Imaging | June 17, 2019
June 17, 2019 – Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc.
M*Modal and Community Health Network Partner on AI-powered Clinical Documentation
News | PACS Accessories | June 13, 2019
M*Modal announced that the company and Community Health Network (CHNw) are collaborating to transform the patient-...
A static image drawn from a stack of brain MR images may illustrate the results of a study. But a GIF (or MP4 movie), created by the Cinebot plug-in, can scroll through that stack, providing teaching moments for residents and fellows at Georgetown University

A static image drawn from a stack of brain MR images may illustrate the results of a study. But a GIF (or MP4 movie), created by the Cinebot plug-in, can scroll through that stack, providing teaching moments for residents and fellows at Georgetown University. Image courtesy of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Feature | Information Technology | June 13, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Editor’s note: This article is the third in a content series by Greg Freiherr covering the Society for Imaging In
Studycast PACS Adds Two-factor Authentication to Improve Data Privacy and Security
News | Cybersecurity | June 12, 2019
Core Sound Imaging announced the addition of two-factor authentication (2FA) to the security measures available for the...
The Current Direction of Healthcare Reform Explained by CMS Administrator Seema Verma
News | Radiology Business | June 11, 2019
June 11, 2019 — Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma addressed the American Med
Aidoc Earns FDA Approval for AI for C-spine Fractures
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | June 11, 2019
Radiology artificial intelligence (AI) provider Aidoc announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared...
Medivis SurgicalAR Gets FDA Clearance
Technology | Virtual and Augmented Reality | June 10, 2019
Medivis announced that its augmented reality (AR) technology platform for surgical applications, SurgicalAR, has...
Glassbeam Announces New Clinsights Application Suite for Healthcare Provider Market
Technology | Analytics Software | June 10, 2019
Glassbeam launched Clinsights, a new revitalized application suite powered by artificial intelligence/machine learning...