let's talk
🚀HomeBlog

The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Medical Records: Benefits and Challenges

Anna Korotkova

Anna Korotkova

Solution Architect, Front-end

11 min

Is it profitable to launch a healthcare solution like EMR in 2024?

Well, in the post-COVID world, venture capitalists find it harder to get excited about investing in digital health.

PitchBook data shows that healthcare IT deal activity remained steady in the first quarter of 2024, with 74 deals amounting to approximately $1 billion. This represents a slight 3% increase compared to the same period last year.

However, the situation is getting better now.

At the American Telemedicine Association’s Nexus conference, investors shared their insights on the market. They highlighted a cautious but positive outlook for early-stage and growth-stage investments.

Investors are looking for healthcare tech solutions with defined and proven clinical outcomes. They also emphasized the importance of clear AI applications and the complexities of value-based care models.

Overall, investors are ready to support high-quality healthcare tech companies that demonstrate measurable benefits.

In fact, with the integration of AI, the rise of wearable devices, the potential of 5G, and insights from big data, the future of the EHR and EMR software industry looks very promising.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of EMR development as well as how to build your own EMR.

Ready to Bring Your App Idea into Reality?

Unlock your startup potential now — start transforming your vision into a scalable solution with our expert developers today!

What is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?

An electronic medical record (EMR) is a digital collection of medical information about a patient stored on a computer.

EMRs can be shared across different healthcare settings and may include the following clinical data: demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal statistics, and billing information.

These systems are becoming popular, and market research is only proving this point.

The U.S. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Market was valued at $5.92 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $8.10 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 5.36%.

EMR Market Size

Evolution of Medical Records: From Paper-Based to Digital Records

Medical records have a history of 4000 years and have existed since the beginning of medicine.

The modern medical record was developed in the 20th century, with data about each patient recorded, organized, and stored.

The transition from paper-based to digital medical records has revolutionized healthcare.

Initially, all patient information was recorded on paper, making it difficult to access, share, and store securely within the health care organization.

With the advent of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR), this process has become much more efficient and secure.

Let’s compare:

Paper-Based Records:

  • Manual Process: All patient data was handwritten and stored in physical files.
  • Limited Access: Only accessible within the specific healthcare facility.
  • Storage Issues: Significant physical space was required, and the facility was prone to damage or loss.

Digital Records (EHR/EMR):

  • Automation: Patient data is entered electronically, reducing errors and saving time.
  • Easy Access: Accessible to authorized personnel across different healthcare facilities.
  • Secure Storage: Stored in cloud-based systems with encryption, ensuring data security and privacy.

This evolution has not only improved the efficiency of healthcare delivery but also enhanced patient care by making medical records more accurate, accessible, and secure.

If you are thinking about implementing EMR solution into your organization, you have 2 options: to select and integrate a system that is already available on the market or develop a customized solution.

Feel free to check out this guide to select the best EMR/EHR system.

In case you are considering developing your own EMR, read on as we unwrap the benefits and challenges to be aware of.

Why is It Beneficial to Develop Your Own Electronic Medical Record System

Developing your own Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system offers numerous advantages tailored to your specific needs.

You can read about the benefits of EHR systems in this article.

One of the main benefits is customization.

Having your own system, you can include features that match your workflow and address your unique requirements. This allows for a user-friendly interface that your staff or clients will find intuitive and easy to use.

A smooth integration is another key advantage.

Your custom EMR can be designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and other healthcare platforms, enhancing data sharing and communication across different departments and facilities.

Control over your data is also a significant benefit.

With your own EMR system, you maintain full control over patient data, ensuring it is stored securely and managed according to your policies.

This flexibility allows you to easily update and modify the system as your practice grows and changes.

Cost efficiency is an important consideration as well.

Developing your own system can lead to long-term savings by avoiding recurring licensing fees associated with third-party systems.

Additionally, a custom EMR system is scalable, meaning it can grow with your practice without incurring additional costs.

Finally, compliance and security are enhanced with a custom EMR system.

You can ensure that your system meets all regulatory requirements and standards specific to your region and implement robust security measures to protect sensitive patient information from breaches and cyberattacks.

Overall, with a custom-developed EMR system, health care providers get a solution that perfectly aligns with your practice’s needs, enhances efficiency, and improves patient care.

The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Medical Records: Benefits and Challenges

Challenges in EMR Development and How Health Care Providers Can Overcome Them

Despite the fact that having your own electronic medical record system comes with multiple benefits, there are still some challenges healthcare providers should be aware of.

Integration with Existing Systems

Integrating new EMR systems with existing healthcare platforms can be complex. Providers should choose interoperable systems and work with experienced IT professionals to ensure seamless data sharing and system compatibility.

Customization and Flexibility

Off-the-shelf EMR solutions may not meet all specific needs of a healthcare practice. Customizing the EMR system to align with unique workflows and requirements can enhance usability and effectiveness.

Data Security Concerns

Another significant challenge is ensuring data security and compliance with regulatory requirements. To overcome this, healthcare providers should implement robust security measures, such as encryption and regular security audits, and stay updated on the latest regulations to ensure their EMR system remains compliant.

User adoption

It can also be a hurdle, as staff may resist changing to a new system. Providers can mitigate this by involving staff in the development process, providing comprehensive training, and offering ongoing support to ensure a smooth transition and high user satisfaction.

Key Differences Between Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Record Systems

Despite often being used interchangeably, EHR and EMR systems have their differences. Let’s explore them further.

EMR is a patient record created by providers for specific encounters in hospitals and ambulatory environments.

Electronic health record systems are a more comprehensive collection of electronic health information for individual patients or populations.

An EHR and EMR are both digital versions of a patient’s chart.

However, EMRs cannot be shared, transferred, or accessed as easily across health care organizations.

Electronic health records (EHRs) are designed for easy sharing among everyone involved in a patient’s care, including doctors, laboratories, and specialists.

EMRs also give a narrower scope when it comes to patient data.

An EMR can give you patient demographic, diagnosis, treatment, and disease progression data.

An electronic health record contains all of the same information plus more detailed data regarding a patient’s medical history.

Overall, EHRs give a much more holistic view of a patient’s history than EMRs.

Step-by-Step for Development and Implementation of EMR System for Your Healthcare Practice

There are many electronic medical record systems and electronic health records startups available on the market. However, developing one from scratch is a great choice if your organization needs a tailored solution.

We’ve been developing electronic health record systems for over 10 years and are ready to share some insights on building and implementing a system that will cover all your needs as a healthcare provider.

Here’s a step-by-step routine to rely on.

Check Your Readiness

Before looking for an EMR system, make sure your organization is financially and operationally ready.

Ensure you have a strong business case and the right budget to implement a new system.

Consider factors like the number of patients, types of services offered, and current record-keeping methods. Identify the key features you need in an EMR system, such as patient scheduling, billing, or clinical documentation.

Must-Have EMR Features

Create an Implementation Plan

Once you’re ready for an EMR, plan how to develop and implement it. Your plan should include the following steps:

  • Identify the key stakeholders who will be involved in the decision-making and approval process.
  • Develop a detailed timeline outlining each phase of the implementation, including deadlines and milestones.
  • Choose a reliable software development partner to kick-start the development process.
  • Establish a clear communication plan to keep everyone informed about the project’s progress and any changes.
  • Plan for extensive testing of the system to identify and fix any issues before the full implementation.

Set a Budget

Determine a realistic budget for the EMR system development and implementation.

Consider costs for software, hardware, training, and ongoing maintenance. Ensure your budget aligns with your financial capacity and long-term goals.

Choose the Right Technology

Select the appropriate technology stack for your EMR system.

This includes choosing between cloud-based or on-premise solutions and deciding on the programming languages, frameworks, and databases that will support your system’s functionality and scalability.

Ensure Compliance

Make sure your EMR system complies with all relevant healthcare regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, in the United States.

This includes implementing robust security measures to protect patient data and ensuring data privacy.

Design and Develop the System

Work with a team of developers and designers to create a user-friendly interface. Focus on making the system intuitive for healthcare providers and staff. The design should include easy navigation, clear data entry forms, and quick access to patient records.

Begin the development phase by creating the core functionalities of your EMR system. This includes patient registration, appointment scheduling, medical history recording, and billing. Use agile development methodologies to build and test each feature incrementally.

At SpdLoad, we developed DocKids, a telemedicine app that expands the boundaries of telemedicine by eliminating long queues and travel time for consultations.

Our goal was to create the easiest-to-use telemedicine application. We started with in-depth customer research, identifying pain points like the difficulty of finding trusted doctors and the inconvenience of hospital visits. By addressing these issues, we ensured the app allowed users to get a treatment plan in just three clicks: choose symptoms, select a doctor, and get a video consultation.

Train Your Staff

Training staff is crucial. Ensure the EMR system offers the following:

  • Role-based training for different job functions.
  • Strong customer support for quick and accurate responses.
  • Feedback loops for continuous improvements.

Evaluate and Improve

After the system is fully implemented, continuously monitor its performance. Provide ongoing technical support to address any issues that arise. Regularly update the system to improve functionality and security.

Gather feedback from users and evaluate the system’s impact on your practice. Look at metrics like patient satisfaction, staff efficiency, and error rates. Use this information to make continuous improvements to the system.

Following these steps, we can help you develop and implement an EMR system that enhances efficiency, improves patient care, and meets the unique needs of your healthcare practice.

The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Medical Records: Benefits and Challenges

Top EMR Trends for 2024

Since their invention in the 1960s, EMRs and EHRs have made tremendous progress, but there is still much to be done.

So, what the future holds for electronic health record and electronic medical health record systems?

Let’s explore.

Interoperability Policies

In 2024, EHR developers and IT specialists will continue updating systems to comply with interoperability policies.

On August 1, 2023, CMS announced a 3.1% net increase in Medicare inpatient prospective payment system rates for fiscal year 2024, benefiting hospitals that effectively use EHR systems and maintain quality measurement data.

Additionally, CMS introduced new policies for the 2024 Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program, including a new antimicrobial use and resistance (AUR) surveillance measure. This measure is a significant step forward in promoting healthcare interoperability.

EHR and EMR Software Development

Empower your practice with custom EHR/EMR solutions tailored just for you.

Cloud Computing

Most cloud-based EHR/EMR systems now have an interoperable architecture, enabling seamless integration with other healthcare platforms.

This integration is crucial for data sharing within the medical sector, especially for organizations looking to grow.

A Statista survey revealed that about 45% of healthcare organizations experienced phishing attacks in 2021, with 17% facing ransomware attacks and 7% reporting data breaches.

In 2022, there were 707 large-scale healthcare data breaches in the U.S., slightly down from 715 in 2021, but significantly up from 218 in 2012.

This trend has led to increased adoption of encrypted cloud computing to keep patient data secure and accessible despite cyber threats.

Standardization

EHR regulations are standardized under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Practices with EHRs that don’t meet these standards face penalties and won’t qualify for meaningful use.

The ONC encourages the use of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) to make it easier and safer for people to use smartphone applications to access structured electronic health information.

APIs integrated with EHR technology improve communication between IT systems and medical apps, enabling quick access and information exchange among multiple parties.

The guidelines stipulate that electronic access to all of a patient’s electronic health information must be free of charge.

Robotic Process Automation

The market for automated data capture in electronic medical records is growing due to enhanced workflows and increased accuracy.

Robotic process automation (RPA) helps achieve the required accuracy by avoiding manual entry through robot-based automation. RPA allows digital labor to maintain effective processes while resolving underlying issues without redesigning the entire system.

Various RPA platforms integrate smoothly with existing EHR/EMR software, saving time and freeing up manual resources for essential tasks.

These integrations also help maintain compliance with data protection regulations and improve data security. The global robotic process automation market is expected to grow to over $13 billion by 2030.

Telehealth

Integrating EHR systems with telehealth platforms helps medical organizations provide remote care and improve clinical workflows.

These integrations enable physicians to quickly and securely transfer patient information between systems.

Telehealth combined with EMR systems enhances patient care in a remote environment by automating data entries, synchronizing insurance information, streamlining virtual care activities, and boosting collaboration.

The global telehealth market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.7%, reaching $504.24 billion by 2030, driven by the rising demand for EHR/EMR health apps, increased internet usage, changing population rates, and high healthcare expenditure.

IoT, AI & Voice Recognition

IoT devices are increasingly used in healthcare, with the global market expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.8% to reach $289.2 billion by 2028. Many practices are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to help physicians diagnose and identify health trends.

IoT in Healthcare Market Size 2022 to 2032

According to a Stanford Medicine study, AI can improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce administrative burdens by automating tasks like data entry and appointment scheduling. Companies like Epic and Cerner are incorporating AI-driven tools into their EMR systems to streamline clinical workflows and enhance patient care.

Some EHR products, like CareCloud Central, already offer voice recognition technology to streamline data entry. AI-powered voice recognition can simplify documenting patient encounters, allowing physicians to focus more on patients.

Integrating natural language processing (NLP) into EMR systems can further improve physician efficiency and patient treatment.

AI systems that understand natural spoken language are the future, helping with tasks like preauthorizing insurance and providing prompt input for complex patient cases. AI technology makes electronic systems more efficient, enabling quicker analysis of patient data and assisting healthcare professionals in devising treatment plans.

Let’s Move On

Electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records can revolutionize healthcare by improving patient care, enhancing efficiency, and reducing costs.

However, health care providers must recognize and address the challenges and limitations of EMRs. By adhering to best practices and choosing the right EMR or electronic health record system, providers can fully leverage EMRs to benefit patient care and outcomes.

At SpdLoad, we specialize in creating adaptable, HIPAA-compliant healthcare software and mobile apps that enhance efficiency and patient engagement, as well as ensure clinical data are secure. This will prepare your practice for the future.

Ready to improve clinical workflows or make patient’s care more accessible? Contact our experts today to discuss building the health care solutions your practice needs to thrive in the digital age.

Subscribe to our blog

Recommended posts

The Future of HR: Human Resource Management Systems

The Future of HR: Human Resource Management Systems

There are many HRMS solutions available on the market. However, finding the one that matches your needs can be challenging. In this…

read more
Product Discovery Phase: What It Is & Why It Matters in Software Development

Product Discovery Phase: What It Is & Why It Matters in Software Development

Imagine investing months of effort and thousands of dollars into developing a software product, only to find out that nobody wants it….

read more
How Cloud Migration Discovery Works and Why It’s Important

How Cloud Migration Discovery Works and Why It’s Important

According to a McKinsey report, by the end of 2024, most companies aim to spend $8 out of every $10 on cloud…

read more
Software MVP Development: What It Is & Why You Need One

Software MVP Development: What It Is & Why You Need One

An MVP, or minimum viable product, is a term often heard in the business and startup world. Even those not directly involved…

read more
A Comprehensive Guide to Healthcare IT Outsourcing

A Comprehensive Guide to Healthcare IT Outsourcing

According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Health Care Outlook, the healthcare IT outsourcing market is predicted to reach $390.7 billion by the end…

read more
How Much Does iOS App Development Cost in 2024?

How Much Does iOS App Development Cost in 2024?

Have you ever wondered how much time people spend on their favorite mobile apps? According to the DataReportal, smartphone users spend about…

read more
How to Build Software as a Service? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

How to Build Software as a Service? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

If you’ve been thinking about building a SaaS application, we have good news for you! First, now is the perfect time to…

read more
Top 10 Countries for Outsourcing Software Development in 2024

Top 10 Countries for Outsourcing Software Development in 2024

Outsourcing has become a vital strategy for businesses around the globe. This practice helps companies helping them reduce development costs, access specialized…

read more
Start Your Venture in 2024 with These 15 Tech Startup Ideas

Start Your Venture in 2024 with These 15 Tech Startup Ideas

Last year was tough for startups, especially in Europe.  Atomico report says funding from investors nearly dropped by half in 2023, leaving…

read more