While EMR software is a way to help doctors and small practitioners improve the efficiency of their work, inaccuracies created by users could make this new technology difficult in the initial stages. For example, a 2008 study by the Journal of Healthcare Information Management found mistakes in nearly 15 percent of all EMRs.
The most common ways errors occurred were when nurses entered in faulty information or attributed this data to the wrong patient. Even though these issues may be corrected before crucial decisions are made, the wrong information could lead to a misdiagnosis, incorrect prescription or any number of other unfortunate scenarios.
To reduce the risk of these errors, doctors may want to turn to technology that can increase the accuracy of the data stored in their electronic medical records. One such solution may be medical device integration (MDI). While digital files are more easily accessible, this type of technology can help increase the integrity of the data chain doctors use to make decisions in real-time.
MDI allows high-tech medical equipment to be connected to a hospital or outpatient facility's EMR system. In turn, the connected machines actively monitor a patient's condition to spot errors in documentation.
"Hospitals with no connectivity between devices and electronic health records have clinicians jotting down vital sign information on scraps of paper and manually entering data into a patient's chart," says Tim Gee of Medical Connectivity Consulting. "They get delayed information and face a greater risk of errors, typos or transposed numbers."
The providers of this new technology say it doesn't replace the need for qualified nurses, who must authenticate and use their professional expertise to analyze any data in the system. Doctors who invest in MDI are also able to train their workers about its inner-workings in under an hour, according to some providers.
Once the MDI is in place, busy medical professionals can turn to updating their medical billing software or focusing on improving their medical practice management with products such as Medisoft, Lytec, Practice Choice and Allscripts.