Importance of Electronic Health Record Systems
A shift from the paper records to digital records is gaining popularity, and most of the patients would have witnessed the physician key in notes into the computers. Surge in use of electronic records is seen after 2014 in the US. From the simple patient information, it has now moved to storage of critical data of patient healthcare, and there are copious benefits associated.
All-inclusive patient data:
When a dynamic record that has all data about the patient, which includes sickness, treatments, procedures, tests, lifestyle, can be accessed by the patient and the healthcare provider at any point of time, a holistic view is provided. In simple words, patient centric care can be achieved with the simple shift to Electronic Health Records.
Coordination of care:
Multiple visits can take a toll on the patient’s emotional health. When the tests, surgery, procedure, medicines and everything about the disease can be coordinated and scheduled at one place with a single visit, it can be seen that patients can enjoy better care. Physicians and professionals across facilities can coordinate and help in offering better care with less time involved. EHR also helps in sharing patient info across specialties, disciplines, hospitals and pharmacies. In case of emergencies, EHR are lifesavers, for one need not wait to spring into action for the sake of health records to be fetched.
Cutting down the paper records also mean the hospital staff can cut down the paper work and concentrate on the patients. Wait times, appointments, and pickups too are downsized. Reminders are sent to patients automatically about annual checkups, and visits to doctors. This means patient tracking becomes easier. Another great benefit for the providers is that billing and dealing with insurance companies too are streamlined, which helps in faster claim processing and payments.
Data and analysis:
When data is at hand, research become easy. With comprehensive patient data, it becomes easy to analyse and study patient behaviour, and also behaviour of the disease. A flu breakout can be studied to find out what sort of patients suffer from the same, during which part of the year. This also helps to stay vigilant. Drug interactions that are harmful can be studied, and researches that require standardized data can make use of EHR.
Errors are reduced:
Coding is tedious process, which gets catastrophic when paper records with illegible information are involved. EHR is a standardized document that gives clear cut picture of the medicines prescribed, procedure and tests done, and surgery performed. This means right codes can be assigned with ease.
EHR is not a boon only for the hospital staff because the back breaking paper maintenance work is cut down. It is an effort to ensure patient care is done seamlessly. EHR also ensures patients can make use of the wealth of information and access it from anywhere. This means it is an essential step towards patient centric healthcare system.