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      Flu Season 2022: 3 Ways EMRs Improve Flu Outbreak Healthcare

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      If you've scrolled your social media feed within the last day or so, it's likely you've seen all the news surrounding this year's influenza virus season. 

      It's bad. 

      The flu vaccination promotion has begun. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine, barring a preexisting health condition.  

       “Given their increased risk of flu-associated severe illness, hospitalization, and death, it’s important to use these potentially more effective vaccines in people 65 years and older,” said José R. Romero, M.D., Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The options for public health that the CDC recommended for high-risk seniors are within the higher potency treatment category.  

      As a result, many providers are incredibly busy this season. Pediatricians, general practitioners, and urgent care centers are all seeing a significant influx of patients because of respiratory illness. 

      Electronic medical record (EMR) systems are a vital resource for providers in times like these, where efficient and optimal patient care is more important than usual. 

      Here are three ways EMR systems are designed to help providers of various specialties best treat patients during a busy flu season. 

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      Improves Vaccination Rate  

      Seemingly, the center of controversy every flu season, the vaccine is still one of the best weapons against flu activity and related complications that come with respiratory illness. 

      While effectiveness varies with each year strain, experts state that the vaccine is the best way to prevent from contracting the virus. If anything, those who contract the virus and who've received the vaccine consistently show lesser symptoms. 

      Historically, EMRs have proven to increase vaccination rates among children and adult patients. This is done through better documentation and alerts within the EMR system. In one study of New York City patients, EMR alerts were responsible for a significant increase in flu shots among pediatric patients. This rise in response was attributed to healthcare provider’s patient databases stored within their EMR systems. This information enabled flu information and appointment prompts to be emailed ahead of mass flu outbreaks.  

      RELATED: Why Implementing a Fully-Integrated System is a Financially Smart Decision 

      Flu Forecasting  

      Thanks to EMR systems, providers can aggregate large amounts of patient data in hopes of discovering trends that can be beneficial in the future to deliver even better care. The flu is no different. 

      Usually, flu seasons are a roller coaster, with the virus changing and evolving each year, often leaving providers in the dark about how the season will play out. However, by leveraging EMR data, there is more information available to healthcare providers which enables more accurate forecasting of upcoming outbreaks. 

      Overall, this empowers physicians to be better prepared for upcoming flu seasons. Their patients have shown appreciation of this proactive approach to prevention and treatment for this and other infectious diseases. 

      Efficient Workflow 

      Patients are flooding their local doctor's offices, either looking to find out if they have the flu or to receive the vaccine. 

      As a result, many offices are overloaded with patients and causing significant slowdowns. EMRs can help. Providers can have customized workflows that are specific to how they run or have pre-loaded content specific to viruses or other illnesses.  

      These systems can leverage workflows, along with a user-friendly interface, to help providers perform exams, order flu tests, vaccines, and more, in a highly efficient manner. 

      Ultimately, EMRs help providers see as many patients as possible without sacrificing the quality of patient care expected by their patrons.  

      Want to see for yourself how InSync's fully integrated, cloud-based system can help your practice survive and thrive during busy influenza seasons? Have a look at InSync’s EHR system 

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