Adoption of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) : Indian Scenario

Many of the healthcare organization these days are moving towards Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to prevent the patient data from any kind of physical misplacement. Going digital also saves them time and effort of when lookup to a certain data is required. The national scenario of EMR adoption is not as healthy as the global one. Our nation is still at an infant stage when it comes to Electronic Health Records (EHR).


India has a mixed number of medical organizations run by the central government, state government, as well as the private sectors. On a general level, the level of use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the healthcare sector in the country has been lower in comparison to other countries. However, both union and state governments are working on several fronts to make use of the opportunities offered by ICT, and private sector hospitals are also in the process of implementing ICT projects, including electronic patient records.

Max Health, Apollo, Sankara Nethralaya, Fortis, etc. are some of the corporate hospitals in India that are implementing integrated ICT systems in place, covering all aspects, i.e., registration and billing as well as laboratory and clinical data. While Max Healthcare hospitals started implantation of EHR in its hospitals in 2009 and achieved Stage 6 level of the EMR Adoption Model, the Apollo Group also has implemented EHR in its hospitals and achieved Stage 6 in the EMR Adoption Model for four of its hospitals.

Sankara Nethralaya, with the help of Tata Consultancy Services, has implemented an EMR system in its hospitals and satellite clinics in Chennai. They also offer the EMR suite and hospital management system to other hospitals.

However, EMRs are rarely exchanged between the hospitals, even in the private ones. They are referenced when the patient visits again and remain in the hospital. Also, there is no authentic report on the number of patients whose EMRs have been stored so far.

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