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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What is a "Hybrid EMR" ? : Definition

A Hybrid Electronic Medical Record is a combination of Electronic and traditional Paper Medical Records.

The paper part of the Hybrid EMR itself can be either tangible paper or scanned images of paper records, thereby giving us two types of Hybrid EMRs:

1. EMR + True Paper Records

2. EMR + Digitized Paper Records (i.e. Digitally Scanned images of Paper records generated by Document Imaging Systems)

Note that there is a difference between a electronically typed document and a digital picture of a paper document - both can be handled by a computer; But in the first type the computer will recognize and interpret the text, while in the latter it will treat the file as an image file. A special pattern recognition software will be needed to interpret the text on this image file for automated processing.

The second type would be a more authentic type to be called a Hybrid EMR - since if we are using the term EMR - we expect to be talking only in Digital file and information formats

Advantages of Hybrid EMRs :

In large organizations where paper records and communications are deeply seated in the workflow - a total electronic transition may be a very expensive, time-consuming process with lotsa opposition from employees - at such places moving instead to a good balance of electronic + paper formats might be a option to think about

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