How technology is improving patient care

The days are numbered for those endless aisles of medical records in your doctor’s office.

The days are numbered for those endless aisles of medical records in your doctor’s office. Electronic medical records, or EMRs, are replacing the vast paper files in practices and hospitals nationwide. EMRs have numerous features to streamline, enhance and improve the quality of patient care.

“Among these features are such benefits as a reduction in errors, availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, clinical decision-making support, e-prescribing and refill automation,” said Brian L. Schulman, M.D., an internal medicine physician who uses EMRs at his practice, Norton Community Medical Associates – Brownsboro.

EMRs also link hospitals, outpatient centers, physician practices, emergency departments and urgent care centers so that any doctor caring for a patient can access the same consistent medical records instantly

“Patients are reassured knowing that everyone who’s caring for them is tapped into the same information that affects their health,” Dr. Schulman said.

While these are great benefits, there’s more. Possibly the most exciting feature is 24/7 access to your personal health record along with convenient self-service functions that save time, reduce costs and increase satisfaction because you are more involved in your own care.

“Using a secure Internet connection, patients can receive test results; review their medications, immunizations, allergies and medical history; review discharge instructions; view details of past and upcoming appointments; and send messages to their health care provider,” Dr. Schulman said.

You can go online to see test results just a day or two after your appointment. That means no more waiting for a call from the doctor’s office or a letter in the mail. You also can monitor changes in labs over time, such as cholesterol or blood glucose levels. Norton Healthcare’s patient portal, called MyChart, even provides mobile access through a smartphone application.


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