The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT says that the number of EMR Software uses has greatly increased from 2015 to 2017. According to the latest research, practices interpret and use the data from an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software in a number of ways which vary from vendor to vendor.

Why EMR Data Matters

Driven by the 21st Century Cures Act, practices are continuing to flow deeper in their use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software. These electronic records make the recording and accessing of information convenient for healthcare providers. Since this data is interoperable across hospitals, it can be shared with third-parties as well. Seamless patient experience is ensured through the mobility of this data and its portability speeds up the process of patient care.

What Studies Found

By the end of 2017, EMR software was being used by 94% of the practices. The study by ONC showed that across the 3-year period studied (2015-17), almost all the measures of use of EMR System increased across practices. Medical practitioners have been relying on this EHR Software to develop new approaches for the betterment of their service. According to a brief by ONC, “Data from an EMR system is used by practices mostly to improve quality (82%), monitor the safety of the patients (81%), and measure the performance of their organizations (77%).

These quality-improvement uses aside, other most common uses of EMR data include: identification of high-risk patients, measuring performance per unit, strategic planning for the organization, identification of healthcare gaps, and assessing the follow-up of guidelines by the staff.

Role of Software Provider in the Use of EMR Software

From the research study, ONC briefed that the use of EHR depends on the vendor installed. For quality improvement use case, the leading EHRs are Epic, Cerner, and NextGen.

When patient safety is prioritized over other uses, practices mostly use CPSI, McKesson, and drchrono.

Furthermore, the ONC report said that practices using any vendor except Epic and Allscripts had the lowest rate of using their data to develop a method to query for patients’ data. Epic was least likely to be used for the strategic planning while Allscripts was least likely to be used for assessing adherence to guidelines by the staff.

Conclusion

EMR Software is helping practices throughout the country stay competitive by streamlining their care process. Organizing all the health data in an easily interpretable form enables practices to dedicate an increased interaction with their patients to address their needs, whether this interaction is live or through the records they provided in an EMR Software System.