BY MARK WULKAN, M.D.
Surgical Director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Director, Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, and Medical Director of Informatics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; and Associate Professor of Surgery and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
The electronic medical record (EMR) is slowly transforming the way doctors, nurses, and other health care providers deliver patient care. Patients financial records have been electronic for decades; however, clinical data (the information entered by doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals) has been lagging. Processes for capturing lab and radiology results, history and physical details, operative reports, discharge summaries and other critical data have been very basic; paper charts remain the primary means of documentation and communication among the health care team.
Today, some hospitals are creating comprehensive EMRs for their patients that include the