Is MUMPS Useful? At first glance, seemingly enough, the commercial electronic health record companies are using MUMPS to warrant its worth. But many of them promote client-user EHRs, which some industry professionals predict may fade away in light of new cloud-based systems.
Part of the confusion may be the confusion of what electronic health records (EHR) are. These are computerized versions of patient medical histories containing everything from demographics to treatment information. Doctors and other providers can access them via their computer, and the patient is notified through electronic mail when changes are made or completed. Medical practices can then monitor all aspects of the patient’s care, from diagnosis to treatment. This electronic health care system is what is commonly known as an electronic health record or EHR.
Selling medical procedures
This may seem like just another way to increase profits by selling medical procedures to consumers. But the benefits of these electronic medical records go well beyond increased profits. The use of electronic medical records reduces overhead by a third, significantly reducing the amount paid out for each office visit, billing, and lab service. It allows more time to handle patients, see their care, and prevent missed appointments or late lab tests. And, to meet HIPPA compliance laws, most companies now use encryption to protect medical data.
Electronic health record industry leaders
But what sets some companies apart from others, and why are they the electronic health record industry leaders? One reason is proximity to Silicon Valley. For many years, the hub of the health care industry in California was San Francisco. But, some companies’ success in that same state can be attributed to marketing and branding, as well as their proximity to Valley leadership. In addition, some companies have moved into the heart of the Silicon Valley business community, putting them close to some of the most crucial venture capital firms in the country.
California’s proximity to venture capital firms
In recent years, California’s proximity to venture capital firms has helped them attract some of the best minds in the country, many of whom end up creating or investing in new digital health care technologies. One of those bright spots has been Genzyme, a technology company that makes products that help doctors diagnose and treat common diseases. Its founder, Kevin Johnson, came to the United States in 1998 and started his company with only a handful of employees. Today, the company has offices in nine states, including New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Genzyme’s CEO, John van De Ruit, says that the company could pick up on new federal government health care regulations early on and that the resulting marketplace offers more choices than ever before.
Physicians communicate about wellness
According to Faulkner, “The other thing that’s happening is we see a realignment in the way that physicians communicate about wellness. Whereas just five years ago, everybody was talking about prevention. Now everybody is talking about treatment. The fact is, when you talk about prevention, it’s not just what you do. It’s when you do it. As a result, the healthcare system has gotten pretty complex.” He continues, “In other words, if you have a great health care system, it doesn’t matter who your patients are. They can easily get treatment. However, if you’re stuck in a system where people don’t talk to each other, you’re really at a disadvantage.”
According to Faulkner, electronic medical records offer some advantages over paper-based documentation, but some notable disadvantages are also. The biggest downfall, according to Faulkner, is the lack of data security. Electronic medical records make it easy for fraudulent claims to be submitted or for coding information to be changed without proper authorization.
Main arguments presented by health
This is one of the main arguments presented by health care providers against EMR software. But, according to Faulkner, there are some things that you can do as an organization to ensure that your EMR software does not have this problem. First, he says, you should not accept any software that requires prior authorization before viewing the patient’s charts. It would be best to make sure that the person who executes the coding job has proper credentials. Finally, electronic health records are more straightforward to secure than paper documents, so this may not be the typical doctor’s most significant concerns.