With the advent of EMRs and the government's stimulus benefits, doctors are slowly but surely incorporating them into their practices. The government has increased the benefit this year to encourage more physicians to jump on the bandwagon. Currently only 30 percent of primary-care physicians and 20 percent of hospitals have installed some form of electronic medical records.
The benefits to the physician are many. When a doctor uses an EMR, he immediately has access to the most recent, relevant patient history. This can help the doctor make informed decisions when treating, such as what tests need to be ordered, as well as medication management. The system can also give the doctor reminders and alerts, i.e., if a prescription drug is contraindicated. This is a huge cost saver both in time and money.
As a patient advocate, the most obvious benefit of the EMR is increased patient safety. --To learn more, read Jacqueline O'Doherty's full article at Hospital Impact