The dip in the economy has put a massive strain on every business in the United States including the health care system. Many are seeking ways to reduce spending while also trying to find ways to be more environmentally friendly given the concern over natural resources and pollution. The recent mandate by the government to switch to electronic health records is a step in the right direction for our health care system, as there is a huge environmental and cost saving benefit to utilizing EMR systems.
The health care system in the United States is far from environmentally friendly. Hospitals around the US combine to consume more than $9 billion dollars in energy each year. Likewise, they contribute not only 16% of the US GPD but more than 8 percent of the total green house gases measured annually. Couple that with the fact that hospitals put out staggering numbers of biohazard chemicals and toxins and there is a clear need to make the system more efficient. EMR systems not only save money but the reduce the massive carbon footprint of the US healthcare system.
This list shows a number of the primary methods through with electronic health records and improved patient management will allow hospital administrators around the United States reduce their spending and improve overall patient care and efficiency.
1. Electronic health records that can be digitally shared among facilities (hospital to hospital, hospital to practice, emergency medical personal to hospital, facility to insurance) can reduce thousands of tons of paper typically used in medical charts where those charts are duplicated and triplicated among staff (some several times over).
2. Through the use of these shared electronic health records, medical personnel can easily track patient care and meet with patients or review their condition in a virtual environment. This not only reduces travel time but will create a mass reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from reduce road travel.
3. Chemicals that are highly toxic, commonly used in the development of films for x-rays and other scans is greatly reduced as many of these scans can be shared, transferred and viewed digitally without the need for image development.
Electronic health records and patient management is a new way that health care personnel and the facilities they work for to support a more environmentally sound healthcare system. Likewise, the overall use of the system greatly reduces the time it takes to deliver care while making workflow far more efficient among staff. It’s not just a substitute for paper records anymore.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, includes almost $20 billion USD in incentives for organizations to adopt electronic health records starting early 2011. The ultimate goal is work toward a paperless system by computerizing a significant portion of health records by 2014. The benefits of such a program are vast as seen above and those benefits are rich between both patients and the people behind the health care organizations.
Electronic Health Records simplify the storage and retrieval of patient data and can make your billing procedures far more efficient. Discover how an EMR System can improve your medicare payout and streamline your office