The U.S. Olympic Committee is converting to electronic medical records (EMRs) this month for hundreds of athletes who will be competing in London, as well as thousands of other athletes who have been seen by Olympic Committee doctors in recent years.
EMRs also are catching on nationwide as the federal government encourages health care providers with financial incentives, and Corey Angst, assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business and an expert on health information technology, says "Policy makers seemed to have listened and are not just insisting on EMR adoption, but more importantly, they are mandating that the systems be used in a meaningful way. There are specific things that must be measured and reported for hospitals and doctors to receive the incentives."
Angst conducts research on the transformational effect of IT, technology usage and IT value. A proponent of national digitization of health record information, he believes EMRs standardize processes, increase efficiencies and greatly diminish the potential for medical errors.
"There still continue to be barriers, and the biggest one seems to be convincing doctors that there is value in using EMRs," Angst says. "Some have embraced them, while others remain very resistant, stating that EMRs are not intuitive, don't map well onto their preferred workflow, and are generally difficult and slow to use."
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