There has been significant discussion regarding the government’s encouragement of healthcare providers to use of electronic medical records, specifically the security of patients and increased billing that has been accompanying the switch. But a recent New York Times article points out a specific advantage electronic records have that may encourage other industries to use this type of document management.
In the past, if a researcher has a hypothesis, he or she would have to conduct a new study or experiment for data. By using electronic records, doctors and medical researchers will be able to use past records to find trends and patterns. With so many digital records that can be encrypted to protect patient confidentiality, the data can be used to find why certain side effects occur, commonalities in unknown illnesses or other medical factors.
“The sheer volume and the richness of the data will enable us to have insights that are beyond anything we could have had any other way,” Elizabeth A. McGlynn, the director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research, told the news source.
Other industries considering using digital records, or using data entry services to turn information on paper electronic, can also benefit from this concept. With data already in a format that can be easily analyzed or scrutinized, researchers may be able to find new answers and solutions that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be found with paper documents, whether or not a medical breakthrough is the goal.