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EMRs Close Gap between Primary and Urgent Care Documentation
Due to a growing shortage of primary care practices and a rise in urgent care facilities, healthcare professionals fear that patients’ health outcomes could be at stake. When patients turn to urgent care physicians for routine care, their problems do not get documented in their primary care provider’s EMR – leading to gaps in the patient’s health record. Urgent care EMR software, however, could allay physicians’ concerns.
Not only can urgent care specialists use EMR software to keep detailed accounts of their patients’ encounters, but they can easily share that data electronically with a patient’s PCP. This is important considering the findings of a February IBISWorld market research report, which found that the urgent care industry is seeing faster growth than most other healthcare sectors; and it is expected to continue growing over the next five years.
Patients turn to urgent care for numerous reasons:
- They need to see a doctor in the evening or during weekend hours
- They do not have a primary care provider
- They do not have health insurance
- They have a minor injury that does not require hospitalization
- Their PCP does not have any convenient appointments
Whatever the reason, patients should remember that urgent care facilities are not a replacement for their primary care provider. However, they are a viable alternative for non-routine care.
With an urgent care EMR, specialists are able to document visit notes quickly and accurately, resulting in shorter wait times and more efficient service for patients. Plus, when an EMR solution is designed for health information technology interoperability, as is the case with PrognoCIS EMR, data can be passed easily from one physician to another. Referral letter templates even make it possible for an urgent care provider to refer a patient to a non-emergency physician for continuous monitoring.