Arizona State University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics will be
switching the medical files housed in the department to electronic medical
records (EMR) in an effort to reduce the amount of paper used by the department
as well as improve the efficacy of patient file-sharing.

According to the school’s website, the move is being funded by the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which gave the institution a $1.5 million
grant. The EMR system will allow specialists in the department to share and
upload patient information in a local area network.

At the same time, the grant will also fund the purchase of digital dictation
and software that will make it easier for healthcare providers to
conveniently transcribe audio recordings of patient evaluations or any other
notes. The transcribed data can then be transferred into the EMR for quick
access and reference in the future.

The school adds that incorporating an EMR system into the institution’s
infrastructure will help reduce the possibility of medical errors due to misread
data, and the technology can eventually make healthcare more efficient as it’s
adopted around the country.