EMR success on the battlefield suggests its usefulness in private medical facilities

While some small medical facility managers across the country may be hesitant to alter their practice with the adoption of electronic medical records software, a recent interview Government Health IT conducted with battlefield trauma surgeon Colonel Brian Eastridge suggests similar medical technology to be extremely useful in even the most intense, critical situations.

When a soldier is injured on the battlefield, a matter of seconds could be the difference between life and death. As such, Eastridge told the news source that, as opposed to the paper records used by the Army until 2004, advanced medical record systems like the Joint Theater Trauma Registry (JTTR) and Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) have provided its doctors and nurses with better data at a faster rate. This allows the Army's medical practitioners on the battlefield to consequently cut time in the decision making process and save more lives by administering the proper care.

For example, Eastridge mentioned in the interview that while 40 percent of the Army personnel who required transfusions died before widespread registry use, critical information from the JTTR suggested the order in which patients received blood-clotting fluids should be changed. By following this recommendation, the casualty rate for the Army's transfusion patients was reduced to 20 percent.

Additionally, Eastridge suggested that even greater change may come as the Army develops more sophisticated EMR systems, stating that because registry data has indicated a need for battlefield medics to carry hemostatic devices, fewer casualties will occur due to blood loss. 

Eastridge also stated that the same technology saving lives in theatres of war "has also been adopted by our civilian counterparts and internationally." As such, private healthcare providers should consider the vast benefits that adopting EMR software could have on their practice's ability to provide the best care possible for patients.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec andPractice Choice products.