Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A Physician Portal Leads To Health Information Exchange
Using computerized physician order entry, or CPOE, done via a physician portal, medical providers can now create and update patient medical records electronically. This allows them to do away with the paper medical records that line their office walls and take up square footage in offsite storage. When additional technology is installed, it also permits health information exchange. Until now, it has been difficult for treating physicians to get a comprehensive view of patient medical records. Each provider, hospital, and laboratory kept separate records, most of them paper-based. The conversion to electronic medical records, or EMRs, has made it possible for these records to take electronic form. With the addition of an EMR interface, the records can be shared between these parties. EMR integration enables a treating doctor to enter a virtual physician portal to review medical records. The doctor can also perform computerized physician order entry, or CPOE, of his or her treatment orders. When a patient is hospitalized, other departments within the hospital system can access this information and perform their designated functions. Since the information is typed, not handwritten, there is no worry of misinterpretation of unclear handwriting. When an EMR interface is installed between a physician office, lab, hospital, and pharmacy, patient medical records can be accessed and updated by all of these entities. The increased level of communication and collaboration made possible by this technology benefits both patients and those providing treatment. Redundancies and errors are reduced and treatment is streamlined. Through the physician portal, healthcare providers are given a single point of access to different services and applications. The portal can be accessed via a PDA, laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet computer. In this manner, health information exchange is made possible from the palm of one's hand, whether at the point of care or offsite.