Access to a patient’s complete medical history is an essential need for both nurses and doctors. If any information is either missing or unavailable, it could lead to an incorrect diagnosis, putting the life of a patient at risk.
Considering the expensive state-of-the-art medical equipment that most clinics and hospitals use, it’s surprising to know that many medical practices and hospitals still rely on paper records to keep track of their patients’ medical histories.
Today, medical software advancements allow you to automate the entire process by making it easy to collect and keep track of your patients’ medical records. It’s now up to the clinics and practices to make use of the technology that’s available.
What Is Medical Charting Software?
Medical charting software allows you to conveniently and efficiently store patient medical histories, test results and medication information. In essence, the software is an electronic medical records (EMR) system that serves as a digitized version of a typical paper chart that would have to be stored, transported to doctor’s offices and filled out by hand.
An EMR system can help keep all of the data in one place, making it convenient to access, analyze and edit it at any time. As such, any changes become visible in the system immediately. The medical history can also be easily transferred between departments, or even between different clinics or hospitals.
But the advantages over traditional paper records don’t end there. Electronic medical record solutions also allow you to establish a standardized documentation practice of patient care within the entire practice. It also enhances data mining, quality improvement and biovigilance monitoring, according to an article by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Benefits of Medical Charting Software
Here are some of the main benefits that come with using a comprehensive medical charting software solution:
Ease of Access
An EMR system can make it easier than ever before to share patient information between doctors, specialists and even different departments. Everything is digitally stored and available on demand, so doctors can instantly view data such as patient histories, known allergies, previous procedures, used medications, test results and anything else that might be relevant to treatment or diagnosis.
By simply logging in to the system, a specialist can instantly gain access to an online medical chart without having to wait for it to be delivered or faxed. This would be all but impossible with paper records, especially when numerous tests and procedures are involved in different departments. The amount of paperwork involved makes it likely that some piece of information would be lost in the process. But with an EMR system, everything stays safely stored in one place.
Doctors can also easily sort through information using keywords or terms, which allows them to quickly locate the information they’re looking for, instead of sorting through multiple pages of records.
Improved Diagnosis and Treatment
When a medical charting software is properly implemented, it can result in a significant improvement of diagnosis and treatment of patients, while at the same time greatly reducing the number of errors made when filling out patient charts.
In fact, a study by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) found that computerization reduced error rates from 18.2 to just 8.2%, with the biggest difference lying in the reduction of errors of illegibility (97% reduction), inappropriate abbreviations (94%) and missing information (85%).
The problem of illegible handwriting can cause big problems when trying to understand a diagnosis or recommendations. As such, owning a system that solves this is a big benefit on its own. What’s more, without the usual limitations of space that are common with paper records, EMRs allow you to include all the necessary information that could be useful in the future.
Paper records are always at risk of accidents and various hazards. For example, a fire or a flood could wipe out an entire hospital’s patient histories without any chance of recovery. Paper medical records can also get misplaced, lost or even stolen, which can result in reduced effectiveness of patient care.
This problem is eliminated with the introduction of an electronic medical records system. The records have frequently updated recovery databases, so even in the case of a system failure, all of the data can usually be recovered.
Obviously, electronic systems have their own vulnerabilities, particularly in terms of potential unauthorized access. But the security systems that are in place for the leading EMR solutions can usually keep the data safe from security breaches.
EMR systems can help clinics and practices increase efficiency in multiple ways, which in turn results in an increase in productivity and enhanced patient workflow. The ability to quickly fill out medical records using EMR software solutions can help doctors spend more time with their patients and provide a more accurate diagnosis.
This can also have a compiling effect over time. Since the patient history is conveniently located on a digital platform, patients won’t have to waste their or their doctor’s time by explaining their problem over and over again. That information is filled out during their first visit, and it can quickly be updated according to the progress without the need to write everything out each time.
Top 3 Medical Charting Systems
While the benefits of an electronic medical records system are clear, finding one that’s right for your practice depends on your individual needs. But here are a few options that have proven to be some of the best available in the industry, and have been effective for several different types of medical facilities:
CAM by Celerity is a comprehensive electronic medical records system that provides an intuitive and easy-to-use approach to clinical charting, treatment progress tracking and intake. It uses modern diagnostic and treatment tools that are fully integrated with the system, which has made it a popular choice for medical facilities specializing in mental health, substance abuse and behavioral health.
It was originally designed specifically for chemical dependency treatment specialists, but has since expanded to provide a wide spectrum of features for all types of medical clinics and practices. Some of the most notable features of CAM are its ability to automatically generate progress notes and summaries from available data, as well as its customizable intake and assessment templates.
ChartLogic EMR was one of the first EMRs in the industry. Although there are now countless other solutions available, it remains a benchmark for quality because of its continuous strides in the industry.
It features a convenient interface that maximizes the efficiency of data entry, allowing for a straightforward medical charting process while still providing extensive customization options. As an example, patient notes can be created in as little as 90 seconds, meaning that a lot of time is freed up for doctor-patient interaction.
If you feel that your practice needs a solution that provides a lot of customization options, then Praxis EMR could be a good fit.
Praxis features advanced artificial intelligence technology that eliminates the use of pre-conceived templates, relying instead on the Concept Processing AI that allows practitioners to generate, customize and share their documents and reports according to their unique needs and preferences. Praxis EMR is a truly unique solution in the EMR industry, with a clear aim to completely change the way doctors approach processing medical records.