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Why Electronic Medical Records are the secret to future-ready healthcare

The Health Industry

How EMR bridges the gap between the needs of tomorrow and the systems of today.

The challenges of healthcare have always been complex. Working in health means constantly navigating a difficult balance between the human need for individual care and the system’s need for standardised budgets and processes.

In 2020, things are even more difficult. The populations in Australia and New Zealand are aging rapidly while also – thanks to widespread internet access – becoming more informed health consumers. People expect and deserve personalised care and are increasingly presenting with chronic, rather than acute, problems.

For years, these changes in the population we care for have occurred while systems and procedures in the healthcare system remain relatively static. As a result, there is a widening gap between the management practices used successfully for decades and what our patients and healthcare workers require today.

When the COVID-19 emergency arrived, an already stressed system was put under more pressure. While the diligence of our healthcare workers and sound domestic policies saw spread lowered and the number of tragic deaths kept relatively low during this global pandemic, our systems were stretched under the weight of the crisis.

This outlook may sound grim, but there is good news. A solution to these challenges already exists. Data from overseas shows that implementation of digital health strategies, starting with meaningful use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), can transform outdated healthcare systems and align them with modern needs.

While many hospitals have begun the journey to implementing EMR, the full range of benefits isn’t seen until the process is complete, which can take years. But, the benefits of full EMR adoption are too numerous to delay until another day.

Personalised patient care

EMR is the first step toward individualised healthcare. Reliable, readily-available and detailed medical records help staff engage patients in preventative care on their own terms, better track progress, and allow for a team of health practitioners to work together seamlessly. Early studies looking at how digitally-enabled care plans affected patient outcomes showed the technology could improve patient adherence to lifestyle and medication prescriptions and deliver improvements in health markers.

Ease the burden on staff

By creating an integrated record management system and automating care processes, a digital health approach gives staff more time to do what they do best – care for patients. A 2016 PWC report looking at the need for digital transformation in Australian health noted that digitisation of record keeping would cut down on “unproductive” time staff currently spend “preparing, managing and accessing paper records” and also improve clinical handover and create efficiency in the use of facilities like operating theatres and beds.
Better budget efficiency

The PWC report estimated the annual economic benefit of digital health transformation in Australia would be $1.76 billion. These cost savings are felt at the organisational and hospital level too, with EMR enabling higher productivity, better clinical decision-making, and cost efficiencies around line items like consumables.

Ergotron is a leader in supplying EMR-ready and enabling equipment in Australia and New Zealand. Contact your Healthcare Specialist today at Ergotron to discuss how we can help you benefit from digital transformation.

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