An electronic medical record (EMR) is a file with notes and information in digital format that physicians and healthcare facilities use to arrive at diagnoses and administer treatment to patients. It typically contains things such as a patient’s medical history as well as diagnoses and treatments by other physicians.
EMRs differ from electronic health records (EHR), which contain digital information about a patient’s overall health.
Healthcare providers generally regard EMR to be more valuable than paper records, because they allow for data tracking over time as well as detailed patient monitoring. An EMR also provides healthcare providers with reminders for a patient’s check-ups and screenings, making optimal patient care possible.
The Need for Effective EMR Reporting
A healthcare provider should take the information in a patient’s EMR into account when making a diagnosis or prescribing treatment. However, without an intuitive reporting system, that information won’t be on hand when needed. In this case, the physician or clinic will have to spend time gathering the information they need to make informed decisions.
Types of EMR Reporting
There are three types of EMR reporting, namely, wired reporting, parameter reporting, and data-intensive reporting.
This type of EMR report generally concentrates on one aspect of a facility’s patient care. With wired reporting, there is no designated report writer, and staff reports information to EMRs as part of the unit’s workflow. These reports are generally standard with little room for customization.
For example, a dialysis unit will use this reporting to record the number of polymeric hollow-fiber membranes a patient needed during a particular month. Users have limited control over the information they report or find in the record. Unit management or a doctor can use this information to determine a medical trend or to make financial decisions.
Wired reports are generally accessible by all staff members of a ward or medical unit. These reports are also easy to amend or share with third parties.
With a parameter EMR report, the user has more control over formatting and customization than with wired reporting. These reports generally consist of real-time data, operational reports, documentation of clinical notes, or orders for medications or procedures.
The user can choose to sort or access data under tabs to save time and to streamline data gathering. With this EMR reporting method, it is also possible to assign distribution and modification privileges to specific staff members for added security.
Data-intensive EMR reporting provides large quantities of data over extended date ranges or integrates information with other systems. Facility management typically requires these reports for analytical purposes.
An SQL-qualified report writer has to extract data for this report from a separate server to prevent overload on the production application servers. A daily extract, transform, and load process is necessary to gather the data and upload it to a database accessible to the end-user.
This type of reporting does not include real-time information. Users can distribute these reports via secure email, FTP, or other approved platforms.