The Wave of the Future: EMRs

Got your EMR yet?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I mean Electronic Medical Record. Sometimes they are called EHRs, which is short for Electronic Health Record. (There is a link behind each title; read them both. They contain similar [but different] information, and both links are useful.)

It’s a good idea for a Congenital Heart Defect patient to have quick and easy access to their medical records, but pushing around a wheelbarrow is pretty impractical. If you have your medical records on a USB, computer disk, or even use MedicAlert, then you’re part of the EMR movement. (MedicAlert is sort of a hybrid, since you don’t physically carry your records with you. You wear the MedicAlert symbol, which gives you a telephone number you can call for quick access to your records.)

And then there is our old friend Google. You just had to know that Google was going to get into this game, and they have with their new portal, Google Health. But if Google is the 800 pound Gorilla in the room, then Microsoft is the 900 pound Gorilla. There can’t be two kings on the same throne, so you know they are going to fight.

Microsoft is packing a tremendous one-two punch: They are providing EMR software for hospitals and doctors – the people who actually generate the medical records – and they have introduced Microsoft HealthVault for patients. But this writer wasn’t that impressed with HealthVault. Being first isn’t always being being the best.

Another point to consider is that when two giants start fighting, the small people need to just get out of the way. Before these two are through trying to capture the EMR market, some small players in the business are going to get hurt. It always happens. So if you happen to be using an online service to store your medical records, you might want to consider your options.

But EMRs are the coming thing, and it looks like patients with a complicated medical history and a truckload of medical records are going to benefit the most. But we’ve got to be the people who test the system. That’s not a problem… we’re used to being medical trailblazers!

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One Response to “The Wave of the Future: EMRs”

  1. Sunday Night Links! « Adventures of a Funky Heart! Says:

    […] written about Electronic Medical Records before. Here are two articles by a Healthcare Chief Information Officer: Electronic prescriptions […]

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