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Effect of an electronic medical record information system on emergency department performance

Electronic medical record (EMR) systems have the potential to improve quality of health care, streamline workflow and increase efficiency in the health care system.1,2 However, potential problems have also been identified, such as the cost of implementing and maintaining EMR systems, and the skills and training needed for using them.1,2

Despite the proposed benefits and pitfalls of EMR systems, there is limited research on their effectiveness.24 Specifically, there is a lack of data regarding their effect on definable clinical end points, such as patient mortality.5 Locally developed systems, designed around local procedures and conditions and implemented from the ground up, have shown benefit.68 Specific computer-assisted decision support has also been shown to be of benefit.7

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