Monday, October 12, 2009

Electronic Medical Records are good for patients

In an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News (10/11), Raj Bhandari, MD, and Terry L. Austen, of the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center, wrote that electronic medical records (EMRs) "improve the quality of care," giving "physicians, nurses, and technicians a patient's comprehensive medical history at the point of care," while increasing "efficiency and" containing "costs by reducing duplication and improving patient safety." EMRs can also allow patients to "use their home computers to increase convenience by making appointments online, ordering prescription refills that are delivered to their home, viewing their lab results through secure webpages, and emailing their physicians." Bhandari and Austen concluded, "Notes jotted on paper and placed in multiple files where doctors rarely see them are a remnant of a fragmented, inefficient model of medical care."

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