Austin Regional Clinic finished rolling out its electronic medical records, or EMR, system in February for all 18 of its locations.
Dr. Manish Naik, associate chief of the internal medicine department and lead physician on the project, said one of the benefits of having records available electronically for both patients and physicians is easier access.
The clinic system simultaneously introduced its online patient portal, called MyChart, in which patients can set and view upcoming appointments, access medical history information or dates of vaccinations, receive test or lab results, and communicate with their physician about those results.
"Many of my patients get their results the same day or next day, which was unheard of before," Naik said.
Physicians can also access a patient's records regardless of whether the patient visited another ARC location or used ARC's urgent care services. However, because other hospital or clinic systems may use different EMR vendors, it could still be difficult to access a patient's records if he or she goes outside the ARC system, Naik said.
"That's one of the challenges for all of us is how do we make those systems talk to each other," he said. "Hopefully [EMR] will allow better communication within different systems."
For more information about EMR or My Chart, visit www.austinregionalclinic.com.