5 Benefits of Electronic Medical Records

Rooms of medical records may become a thing of the past. See more staying healthy pictures.

Medical professionals in the United States have invested in some of the most advanced diagnostic equipment in the world, but when it comes to keeping track of patients' medical histories, doctors and hospitals still rely primarily on pen and paper. Members of both political parties champion converting all of that paperwork into a comprehensive system of electronic medical records, and the government is finally providing incentives to make that dream a reality. The 2009 stimulus bill supplied funding for doctors and hospitals to upgrade their record-keeping systems, and President Obama has expressed that he'd like every American to have an electronic medical record by 2014 [source: Pear]. Why would the government make this investment? Analysts predict that electronic medical records could save the U.S. billions of dollars in health care spending, and their use has been linked to better patient care. But let's get specific -- in this article, we've got five examples of what those savings and better health outcomes might look like.