EMR for internal medicine should be equipped to detect warning signs as well as provide appropriate decision support to aid doctors in diagnosis and treatment.
Internal medicine is starting to put more emphasis on disease prevention and education as patients’ concern and involvement with their own health grows. Disease prevention can be addressed by looking at age, sex and race demographic as well as lifestyle choices. How old is the patient? Are they male or female? Do they smoke? Are they overweight? Does cancer or diabetes run in their family? A good EMR will have built-in health maintenance protocols and based on the patient data entered, it will prompt the doctor to recommend scheduling preventative tests like a colonoscopy or a mammogram.
A good internal medicine EMR also has the ability to help prevent life-threatening and costly mistakes in diagnosis. Decision support will take patient information like allergies, medications, surgeries and previous illness and use it to determine how it contributes to the symptoms and the probability of one disease versus another. In addition to analyzing the symptoms, the EMR should be on constant alert for the possibility of drug allergies and interactions and explain why the combination is harmful and the severity of the consequences.