|LETTERS TO EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 180-181
Electronic medical records: Issues after implementation
Suchitra Kataria1, Vinod Ravindran2
1 Melange Communications Pte Ltd, Singapore
2 Centre for Rheumatology, Calicut, Kerala, India
|Date of Submission||14-Jan-2021|
|Date of Decision||18-Jan-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||18-Jan-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||26-Mar-2021|
Centre for Rheumatology, Calicut - 673 009, Kerala
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kataria S, Ravindran V. Electronic medical records: Issues after implementation. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:180-1
We read with interest the article by Sunil et al. on the planning and implementation of the electronic medical record (EMR) system at their center and the subsequent experience with it. It is indeed heartening to learn that EMR in India is finding its way into the government medical institutions which are primarily not for profit and cater to a diverse group of patients from varied socioeconomic strata. Expectedly, the EMR implementation has resulted in reducing the patients' wait time during radiotherapy (RT) administration, simulation, immobilization device listing, and subsequent follow-ups. Patient convenience is bolstered further due to the systematic side effect profiling, weekly reviews within the digital system, and also because of the elimination of the need to carry the physical chart upon receiving RT.
In the study, the authors have briefly mentioned about the time taken by the radiation oncologists (ROs) for data entry, but they have not provided any information on the time taken for data entry by the other staff. For the ROs, with familiarization, although the time required for data entry came down from 25 to 15 min, in a health-care delivery setup overwhelmed by the sheer volume of patients, this would be a colossal waste of time.
EMRs are widely known to take away precious time meant for patient–provider communication during a clinical encounter. We have noted that the institute's laboratory and radiology department had different data management systems which could not be integrated into the MOSAIQ EMR system. This necessitated manual entry, scanning, and attaching the PDF files to the patients' charts. Although, in future, the authors expect that the integration of the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and laboratory systems with their EMR system will save time, unless there is a universal agreement on what data should be entered and a process flow simplification aimed at minimizing the data entries, burdening the clinicians and their eventual burnout shall always remain a possibility.
Oncology care involves various other stakeholders, such as surgical and medical oncologists besides ROs, depending on the type of malignancy. The present study does not touch upon the interoperability with other EMRs that may have been deployed by other specialists. Lack of interoperability puts additional pressure on the paraclinical or administrative staff and may potentially defeat the purpose of incorporating the EMR system. We hope that these issues will be overcome in due course of time with appropriate interventions such as the voice-to-text input technology. EMR developers are also trying to overcome the interoperability problems so that cross-collaboration with allied functions becomes seamless. Steps are being taken to ensure that the patients get the rights to their clinical records and are able to utilize them for research, artificial intelligence, and personalized treatment goals.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Sunil RA, Vishwanath L, Naveen T, Pallad S, Mandal SK, Pasha T, et al
. Implementation of the electronic medical record system in the radiation oncology department of a government health-care facility: A single-center experience. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:748-54. [Full text]
Kataria S, Ravindran V. Electronic health records: A critical appraisal. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2020;50:262-8.