One of the fastest-growing, most lucrative fields in America is the sale of electronic medical records.
For many moons, the medical industry has relied on paper records. As computers began to dominate the world in the last quarter of the 20th century and beyond, that insistence on sticking to paper became archaic. As a result, the last decade has seen doctor’s offices and hospitals across the country switching over to electronic medical records systems.
Mandates have sped up that process, as Direct Capital’s John-Paul Smolenski told me back in late September:
“A lot of MDs are getting equipment loans for their Electronic Medical Records, which is the software they need for treating patients and recording the data instead of filing everything in paperwork and storage cabinets,” Smolenski said. “Every doctor is mandated to have the software by 2014. If they don’t, they will start to be penalized for it.”
So this change is as inevitable as the tide. But the systems in place are not yet perfect.
The one hurdle that remains is this: Once you have these electronic medical records systems, how do you link them up with those in other offices?
One of the great advantages of having everything available electronically is how easy it would be to move records to where they need to go, e.g., from a doctor’s office to a hospital providing emergency care to a sick patient. There’s privacy concerns associated with that, of course, but ultimately there are significant benefits as well. Plus the fact that you don’t need boxes upon boxes of paper records clogging up the office, which requires a little more time and effort than it’s worth.
This is the hurdle everyone needs to clear. With so many medical offices being required by federal law to get the new records-keeping system in place by 2014, it’s going to become imperative to link them up in a meaningful way.
Speaking of equipment financing, if you’re an office in need of an electronic medical records overhaul, give Direct Capital a buzz. We may just be able to help.
What are your thoughts on EMRs?