Electronic Medical Record A Decision Support Tool

Author: Molly C. Shek

Primary Advisor:

Committee Members:

Masters thesis, The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Allied Health Sciences at Houston

Increasingly, health care organizations are considering moving to an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Central to the change is recognition of the need for community based and clinically relevant information systems that span the care continuum. The use of EMR-based decision support tools to manage adverse drug effects and bring medical information support to the point of care and other clinical situations has been shown to improve patient care, quality and outcomes, and reduce health care costs. The problem still remains that the EMR is not widely implemented in routine medical practice. One proposed reason for this is that system designers have not yet learned to represent computerized medical information in a form that seems intuitive to clinicians 8. Another reason is that decision support functionality is still in its preliminary phase. For clinicians to utilize this function, more testing and research activities will have to be undertaken. More functionality is needed on the medical record side and more knowledge resources need to be integrated to fully meet the information needs of clinicians at the point of care.