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Move to electronic medical records growing

<p>The message is clear from the state level to the federal level. Its time that medical records go electronic.

 The message is clear from the state level to the federal level. It's time that medical records go electronic.

"They get it, they really do," said Nancy Adams with the Monroe County Medical Society.

The push is on in Rochester. In the hospital setting 20 to 30 % of physicians are using electronic records. But that number is lower among private doctors who may not be ready for the price tag.

"This is the future. I think it's going to be a little bit painful getting there just from a cost and workflow change kind of perspective," said Adams.

Doctor Ali Loveys in Pittsford is ahead of the curve. She made the switch about 7 years ago. Loveys says it has revolutionized her practice.

"If you think about what physicians do, we are data managers in a sense. We have quite a bit of data coming in so you have the patient history, what the patients tells you. You might have lab reports, consultation reports," said Dr. Loveys.

When patients come to Loveys' office they start at a kiosk, snapping a picture and looking at their medical records with the click of a button. It allows both patient and doctor to know everything is up to date.

It's about an 18 month transition to make the switch from paper records to electronics, but one that has proved cost effective for Loveys.

"We're talking about day in and day out the costs of healthcare that are crushing the system right now. The bread and butter, the everyday stuff this is really where we are going to see the cost savings," said Dr. Lovey.

So the push is on to get more doctors on the system. Millions of dollars in grant money is now available locally and the Monroe County Medical Society has more than 200 physicians signed up to make the switch. A switch that will benefit doctor and patient.

"What excites me about the electronic medical record is that it's going to improve patient care we are going to see better outcomes because physicians are going to be able to track things easier," said Adams.

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