My colleagues in the Bahmni team, Abhinav C. Peddada and Amira A. Pettus, wrote an excellent article on how patient care is greatly improved when an EMR complements a paper based system.
To quote them:
Information systems are becoming ubiquitous in hospitals and healthcare facilities all around the world. These systems complement paper in hospitals by providing features such as clinical decision support and visual trends that fill the gap crucial to patient care. A diverse group of stakeholders derive value from these systems in a myriad of ways. Doctors and clinicians use EMRs for improving quality of healthcare and reducing time in processes. Administrators use these systems to decrease costs and improve operational efficiency. Trainees utilize these as tools for learning and development.
When used together, paper and EMRs can create a complete view of patient information needed to provide effective and efficient care.
I highly recommend reading the article written by them where they share observations of how hospitals have complemented their paper based systems with Bahmni — an open source EMR for low resource environments.
Read the full article on ThoughtWorks Insights here: EMRs and Paper Records: Co-existing in Hospital Ecosystems