Benefits of Electronic Health Records
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system faces a variety of challenges. One of the most pressing is dealing with a glut and a lack of information at the same time. The medical community is chronically overburdened with tracking outbreaks, staying up to date on effective therapies and vaccine development, keeping track of how each patient is doing, and recognizing and documenting a seemingly constant stream of new symptoms.
In today’s reality, the healthcare system should be capable of sorting through enormous amounts of data and identifying the nuggets that pertain to a certain patient’s condition. However, there are still issues on determining which data is critical and finding the best treatment and preventative strategy for each patient.
Electronic health records (EHRs) enable health organizations to keep medical records that are more thorough, consolidated, and accessible. However, despite the benefits of electronic health records, which include a new set of functionality, there are still problems with this kind of digital record keeping. Data can be hacked and compromised. Employees may not know how to use EHRs appropriately or how to integrate them effectively into their current systems and processes.
Health specialists should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of an electronic health record system, as well as how to appropriately implement them in the healthcare environment.
What Are Electronic Health Records?
An electronic health record is an electronic representation of a patient’s medical history that is stored by the healthcare provider and may include all of the critical clinical data pertinent to that patient’s care. Information in an EHR can include the history of medications a patient has taken, medical treatment records, and data about examinations and tests a patient has had might all be found in an EHR.
Besides, an EHR provides physicians and care providers with tools to assist them in making decisions about a patient’s treatment.
Types and Usage of Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records (EHRs) come in a variety of formats. A hospital might have installed specialized software and built its own internal database to keep track of patient records.
A clinic can employ the services of a cloud provider to make records accessible from a variety of devices. A record can be anything from something that doctors and administrators examine on a computer before treating a patient to something that the patient views on a mobile device.
Electronic health records differ from personal health records or PHRs. EHRs contain information from all the doctors involved in a patient’s care, and all authorized healthcare specialists participating in that care may access the information to provide the patient with treatment. PHRs are similar to medical records, but they’re designed for people to set up, access, and manage.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Electronic Health Records for Patients?
A person seeks therapy from specialists after recently relocating to a new city. When the patient attempts to schedule an appointment, the administrator requests documents and information from the organizations where the patient has previously undergone therapy. This leads to the patient having to make multiple phone calls and email requests to get administrators from the previous health centers to send their information to the new facility.
One of the advantages of EHRs is that they provide a centralized system that allows multiple health organizations to share up-to-the-minute information about a patient, making it easier for patients to access and get care. EHRs make it easier to share information in circumstances where a patient needs to obtain information about a certain medication he was prescribed in the past.
Telehealth advancements have already made it possible for people to get a greater spectrum of services at a lower cost and in a more convenient manner. Instead of traveling great distances to see specialists or fill prescriptions, patients can often use video conferencing or a mobile app to consult with a clinician.
Healthcare technology will continue to advance and EHRs will become more beneficial, enabling opportunities to make healthcare more affordable for patients.
Better Quality of Care
If a hospital or health organization does not have an EHR system, doctors may not realize that a particular medication they prescribed would conflict with another prescription the patient is receiving.
When a new medication is prescribed, a competent EHR not only keeps track of the patient’s medications and allergies but also checks for problems and informs the doctor about potential conflicts. The fact that the data exists and is arranged in a more thorough manner can aid in the identification of health issues and improve the quality of care that patients receive.
Better Services in Rural Areas
Some people live in remote areas dozens of kilometers away from the nearest hospital. EHRs can help such patients in rural places by providing a clearer picture of their medical history, determining whether they require professional help, and making care more affordable. A patient in a remote area who has already received some immunizations can access their EHR to obtain that information and avoid receiving or having to pay for unnecessary services.
What Are the Benefits of Electronic Health Records for Healthcare Providers?
Medical practitioners can send patient data swiftly to other departments or providers while also eliminating errors and leading to better results management. These process enhancements are frequently well welcomed by both patients and doctors, as they can help to keep a facility’s schedule on track.
Reducing medical errors is beneficial to both the doctor and the patient. An EHR system eliminates the problem of lost or misplaced patient files, as well as data inaccuracies that might arise during transcription.
EHRs can be more efficient than paper records because they provide centralized chart management and faster access to patient information. In addition to fewer unanswered calls and missed messages, communication with other doctors, insurance providers, pharmacies, and diagnostic centers is more efficient and trackable. Integrated scheduling, which is linked to progress notes, automated coding, and insurance claims, simplifies office management. All of these EHR features help to save time, which leads to increased productivity.
Less Paperwork and Fewer Storage Issues
Administrative operations consume a large amount of time and money in the healthcare industry. Clinicians and administrators may spend a significant amount of time filling out and processing forms. EHRs automate routine procedures because they are paperless and as the volume of papers drops, so does the amount of storage space required. Healthcare specialists’ offices may become less cluttered if storage demands drop and their efficiency rises, as storage needs decrease and efficiency rises.
Increased Quality of Care
EHRs allow sharing patients’ health information in real-time. Comprehensive information leads to a greater level of care, from better diagnoses to fewer errors. EHRs can also help patients better manage their diseases and participate more actively in their healthcare by providing automatic reminders for preventative appointments and screenings. When it comes to pharmaceuticals, paper prescriptions might be misplaced or misinterpreted, resulting in dosage problems or even the prescribing of the incorrect medication.
Health professionals can connect directly with pharmacies through electronic prescribing, which reduces errors and saves time by eliminating missing prescriptions. Electronic prescribing also improves patient safety by automatically checking for potentially dangerous drug combinations.
When used correctly, electronic records can save doctors time during patient visits and allow them to see more patients during the workday. These subtle changes may only save a few minutes per visit, but during the working day, that time adds up and allows doctors to see more patients.
As part of the claims review process, many physician practices receive requests for patient charts.
The time and effort required to generate these charts might be a drain on resources, but an EHR can streamline this process. What is more, the outcome would be a more accurate and comprehensive chart provided promptly, with doctors having more time for seeing patients.
To be on the safe side of the law when using paper charts, many physicians use a lower billing code rather than utilize the appropriate level of code. Without fear of an audit, providers who use EMR software can improve revenues by employing system-recommended E&M billing codes that are based on the service accurately documented within the EMR. According to Medical Economics magazine, physicians who down-code to evade audits lose an average of $40,000 each year.
EHR provides many benefits to both patients and health organizations. Without spending time on time-consuming activities like documentation or billing, healthcare practitioners can increase their earnings and deliver better treatment.
EHR, like any other software, has some challenges. Before choosing one, it’s critical to understand the functions and tools that your practice requires. Don’t be afraid if there’s something you don’t understand or are unsure about – SCAND is a reputable custom hospital software development company and our experts can assist you in determining exactly what your challenges are and provide advice on how to create an EHR system.