EMR Is Better than Paper Charts

Posted on January 9, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This issue could be debated extensively and so that is why I decided to post a few ideas on why an EMR system is more secure and more reliable and just downright better than those paper charts. Really I hope that it is somewhat of a pros and cons and could expand into all sorts of areas. We could also talk for hours about implementing an EMR and the difficulties of EMR in that respect, but putting that aside I want to just look at why EMR is better than a paper chart. I’m starting this list by taking these points from this webpage.

-Entire chart gets passed to multiple doctors, nurses, techs, therapists, dietitians, etc.
This could also be the case with an electronic record, but an electronic mark would be left by each person that viewed and more importantly changed the record.
-Lost charts destroyed in a natural disaster(ie. Katrina)
Still possible with an EMR, but not with a good off site backup. Also, how hard is it to carry a DVD with you as opposed to a room full of paper charts.
-Paper Charts spread disease
A keyboard could also carry similar diseases, but a keyboard could easily be wiped down with alcohol. Paper charts can’t be cleaned or sanitized in any way.

This is just a start. Look for more posts to come on the pros and cons. I think this might turn into a full fledge page of it’s own.