The Benefits of EMR for Mental Health Providers and Other Physicians

EMR for Mental Health Providers have had a positive effect on patient care and the work lives of family physicians.

Over the past few decades, our medical knowledge has increased. More investigative and treatment options are available; as a result, our patients are living longer, and we are dealing with more chronic conditions. Family physicians cannot “know all things,” nor can we be “all things to all patients.” To adequately address our patients’ complex needs, we need good sources of information and good relationships, including access to a multidisciplinary team of professionals and other specialists. We need tools that improve access to information and relationships.

Better informed

The EMR technology gives health care providers information in formats that were not possible with paper charts. Primary care providers can now view and print graphs of values such as weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, tracking changes over time. The EMR improves the chances of chronic disease management, prevention, and screening targets, as shown in studies demonstrating improved quality measures. Electronic medical records can provide treatment goals or alert providers when specific prevention and screening maneuvers are due or out of date.

Improved relationships

The EMR improves communication and relationships between family physicians and their multidisciplinary team members. Chart summaries, medical notes, and consultation letter templates provide consultants and various team members with legible and structured information. The prescriptions are in a clear and structured format, which reduces medical errors in prescribing. Electronic medical records facilitate requests and task assignments to various team members.

Beneficial effect on work flow

The effect of EMRs on the work lives of family physicians has been positive, as demonstrated by physicians’ significant favorable perceptions of EMRs. Although the implementation of an EMR can lead to a subjective feeling of increased time requirements by family physicians, studies have found that application does not result in a significant decrease in patient access or a loss of billings.

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