Primary Care Toolkit for Family Physicians
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Electronic Medical Record
The electronic medical record focuses on medical or physician-specific information and is configured to reflect the needs of individual physicians or groups of physicians who are directly caring for a patient. In other words it is configured to be provider centric. Generally a provider will use this system with each and every patient encounter and will record detailed encounter information, some of which is sensitive and not appropriate to share with all other providers. This is also the system where patient results, (e.g. laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and other reports ordered by a provider), are delivered to that provider's electronic in-box, (i.e. this information is "pushed " to the provider, negating the need for the provider to go out and seek it).
To date, physicians themselves have often funded the electronic physician and/or medical record. This has proven to be a major deterrent to adoption.
(For more information on the implementation of an electronic medical record, the Physician Office System Program from the Alberta Medical Association is one of a number of recommended resources. See Other Resources, Information Technology Implementation as well as Appendix 5: The EMR where there are two additional resources for those implementing and maintaining EMRs.)