Working in Electronic Medical Records

electronic medical records

Thanks to federal and state regulations regarding patient information and quality of care, almost every health care organization in the country relies on electronic medical records (EMRs) for processing patients, provisions of care, and account and billing information.

Just as a business or corporation relies on computers to organize all their files and information, so too do hospitals turn to health technology to manage a huge directory of patient information and health care directives.

Of course, an infrastructure as big as those you’ll find in a hospital or clinic setting doesn’t run on its own. In addition to the nurses, physicians, and health care workers who use the EMR system for patient charting, admissions, medication ordering, and discharges, there are HIT professionals, transcriptionists, and health informatics workers who all regularly tap into the system and keep it running smoothly.

What Kinds of EMR Careers are There?

Most types of health care careers already use EMR on a daily basis. For example, a medical receptionist who logs appointments into a computerized system is proficient in that type of record-keeping. Medical transcriptionists take recordings and written notes and put them into a computer.

Many pharmacists and pharmacy technicians get their prescriptions via a CPOE (computerized physician order entry) system. And in doctor’s offices, many medical assistants are now responsible for taking vitals and logging them all into the system before the doctor sees the patient.

What Does this Mean for Health Care Careers in the Future?

If you’re thinking about going to school for any of the above jobs, or if you’re considering a transition to a medical career, you can fully expect to work with EMR systems (both on computers and hand-held devices). Therefore, the school you choose should have technology as part of their core curriculum, particularly when it comes to patient information.

There is no single type of software that all hospitals or medical offices use, so there will be a learning curve no matter where you go to work. That’s why familiarity with computers and data entry will go a long way in improving your employment opportunities.

If you do have a technology background (whether doing computer programming or offering IT support), you might have even more opportunities as the HIT consultant who oversees the EMR programs and trains employees on getting the most out of their workplace technology.


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