Why are electronic medical records important?

Electronic medical records, or EMRs, consist of patient medical information stored as electronic files on computers. EMR acceptance continues to grow due to the increased importance and benefits of electronic records to the medical community.

They Reduce Documentation Errors

Typed EMR documentation greatly reduces patient care errors because it eliminates the second-guessing associated with illegible documentation of patient care orders or prescriptions.

healthcare information

They Provide Instant Access

EMRs provide instant access to patient information. With paper-based records, clinicians have to wait for medical reports to be transcribed and typed and sometimes to be sent elsewhere. However, EMR information is instantly accessible for patient care.

They Allow Sharing of Information

EMRs allow many clinicians treating the same patient to share records across many networks, even if they are not in the same location.

They Offer Integration

EMRs allow integration of different clinical systems into one record. For example, a clinician can review physician orders, switch to the pharmaceutical system and review the patient’s current medications and then review X-rays on another system–all from one access point.

They Provide Audit Trails

Once paper-based medical records leave the medical records department, no tracking mechanisms are in place to ensure that the patient’s information is kept private. EMRs provide increased security with audit trails–another name for keeping track of each individual who’s reviewing a patient’s information, including the date and time it was viewed.


American Health Information Management Association: EMRs

Health Information and Management Systems Society: Electronic Health Record

Open Clinical: Electronic Medical Records

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