Chicago Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center




Services in Focus

Services in Focus


Preloading involves the transfer of clinical information from a patient's existing (often paper) chart into an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Preloading historical data from the patient's chart into the EMR can help ensure that relevant clinical information is available easily to the care provider at the first clinic visit. Common information preloaded into the EMR includes allergies, medications, preventive care documentation (e.g. prior mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations), and recent laboratory tests and vital signs. Staff members already familiar with the existing paper charts may more easily find and extract relevant data, although personnel with some health care experience, such as billing coders, medical record specialists, health science students, or health professionals may be readily trained to perform this task. Providers using the EMR may find it useful to preload a small number of charts during their training process to help familiarize themselves with important functions of the EMR.



Doctors have a reputation for poor handwriting. When prescribing medications, poor handwriting can have adverse consequences for patients. Electronic prescribing (E-Prescribing) is the electronic transmission of a prescription from a doctor's electronic medical record directly to a pharmacy computer. Use of E-Prescribing may reduce the risk for errors due to poor legibility, and through integrated decision support, reduce the risk of inappropriate drug dosing or dangerous drug interactions. E-Prescribing is promoted as a key component of meaningful use of electronic health records and many practitioners may qualify for incentive payments for significant adoption of E-Prescribing.



Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have demonstrated value to improve the quality of care.  In particular, EHRs can improve the likelihood that patients receive appropriate preventive care, decrease medication errors, and reduce the need for unnecessary testing.  EHRs effect these changes by the effective use of clinical decision support systems (e.g. computerized reminders to providers) and by enhanced ability to monitor adherence with quality measures.  The CMS Meaningful Use Final Rule is a strong step promoting the effective use of EHR technology to improve the quality of care. 


Depending on your individual practice/provider needs, CHITREC can develop customized solutions related to these “Services in Focus” and other resource/service needs.

To start, please contact us at:

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