Until recently, doctors and therapists were still using paper and pen. Unlike other industries, health care had not been utilizing computer technology for record keeping until about the last decade. Now the use of information technology in the healthcare industry is making its mark and is predicted to grow exponentially over the next few years.
One of the most innovative quality improvements in our healthcare system is the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR). EMR is changing the way the medical community documents, stores and exchanges medical information in this country and around the world. Though still emerging, these changes have impacted the healthcare profession dramatically and will change our healthcare industry more than any other medical record advancement in history. The evolution of going paperless is definitely making a huge impact on our environment. Facilities are no longer using paper for charting, documenting daily notes, or billing – this is saving our trees and reducing the need for paper, card board, and energy use. Over a period of one year just one facility can save hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper from being used, filed and stored. That is amazing! This same facility can also save an employee the time and the manual labor required to maintain these records because EMR software eradicates the vast amount of paperwork associated with the processing of medical records.
Electronic medical record technology also decreases or eliminates the need for short term and long medical record storage space. This includes storage on site (wasting huge amounts of office space) and storage off site (an added facility expense). In addition, there
is little or no requirement for copying and/or faxing, which intern cuts down on the use of paper, use of energy, and costs associated with purchasing supplies and services. Aside from medical record keeping, healthcare billing procedures are also going paperless, significantly decreasing the amount of mailings (saving our trees) and expense associated with postage.
Now, apply this to every hospital, every clinic, every dentist’s office, every diagnostic center, every pharmacy, and every therapy clinic out there and imagine the positive impact electronic health records will have on our environment. Using electronic medical records is saving our natural resources rather than deplete them.
Click here to read more about author Holly Zahler.