As to empowering the patient, the only advantage my electronic medical record
affords my patients is that I can fax their prescriptions over to the drug store
so they don't have to spend so much time waiting for it to be filled. The EMR is
more an advantage for myself and my staff than it is for my patients. It does
improve patient care somewhat, by improving the organization of the chart, but
the main advantage is to myself and to my staff.
I offer a great advantage to the patient and physician: The Internet.
My favorite system of those I reviewed was web-based. I could access it from any computer with web access, using only a very basic computer system. There was no server to buy or manage.
The software integrated web-based medical references. When I typed in a dx, the software could offer, at the click of a link, additional info, including differential diagnosis, treatment suggestions, patient education materials and websites to give the patient for their own research. As mentioned in an earlier post, immediate access at the terminal to drug references such as Tarascon, Pepid, and others allows for the best drug choices based on the newest information and offers built in drug calculators to ensure proper dosing.
I think this is a major advantage to the patient in putting this wealth of knowledge at the hands of the physician. In addition, I consider it to be a major time saver, as the physician doesn't have to dig through several books to get info. I have a concern that a physician in a busy clinic might not use the most up to date info because of the time constraints involved in accessing this info.