8 Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

EHR

Caregiving facilities benefit from using electronic health records (EHRs) with improved care and coordination as well as increased patient wellness participation. These digital archives save on labor costs by lowering staffing demands and improving workflow. The systems also facilitate easier information access and improve evaluations and outcomes.

1. Electronic Information Management in Healthcare

New healthcare regulations require that caregiving facilities digitize their medical record stores using electronic technology that improves how people create and share information. These characteristics are especially helpful in the medical setting, where EHRs make information management easier and more effective. Overall, the technology is revolutionizing caregiving in every way imaginable.

2. Patient Care Improvements

EHRs utilized with clinical decision support (CDS) tools increase caregiving best practice compliance. [1] As a result, organizations deploying these systems perform better than those that do not. Medical personnel increase their knowledge and understanding of these practices in less time using the systems. Digital reminders help staff members to follow through with many tasks in a complex environment. This accuracy reduces illnesses and increases overall community health. EHR systems also ensure that all patients receive comprehensive preventative directives and allow all personnel to exploit new discoveries quickly.

Multiple disciplines participate in patient care. [2] These specialists do not always relate how their service coordinates with others. EHR systems improve plan sharing between disciplines, including current prescription data, and provides a faster and easier framework to manage illnesses collaboratively.

3. Increased Patient Participation

Electronic health records allow patients to participate in the caregiving process, which is important for chronic conditions such as asthma and weight control. EHRs provide a conduit for caregivers to supply patients with comprehensive and precise evaluations as well as follow-up and aftercare instructions; using this system, providers utilize online resources to communicate, exchange information and schedule appointments. This enhanced communication facilitates fast diagnoses, makes checking on patients easier and increases how effectively physicians can follow up with patients.

4. Accessible Recordkeeping

Personal health records (PHRs) are EHRs that patients access from home. [3] The patient typically initiates this access to manage appointments and view other health related information and resources. PHR systems also make it easier for family members to participate in the caregiving process. Some systems consist solely of information that the patient enters, while others link directly to caregiver databases. Additionally, easier access to detailed information encourages patients to conform to treatment plans.

5. Improved Patient Diagnoses and Outcomes

In a fast paced, complex caregiving environment, EHR systems increase record accuracy, which improves due to heightened organizational and patient participation. EHR systems flag possibly lethal erroneous prescription orders, especially in the hectic emergency room setting. Electronic records also reduce errors due to incomplete information. By linking networks together, care providers make sure that information is current and helpful.

6. Medical Error Reduction

Organizations that have fully implemented electronic health records are less likely to make mistakes that cause patient harm. [4] Nurses at these facilities report fewer incidents of errors, poor outcomes and discharge qualms. They also report fewer services missed due to service coordination errors. These frontline caregivers believe that EHR implementation creates safer service environments by reducing medical errors.

7. Labor Savings

On an administrative level, EHRs require less staff members to manage patient records. [5] Each employee represents around $33,000 that an organization can utilize elsewhere. Connectivity technology records information directly into patient information systems, reducing administrative requirements. Additionally, physicians reduce, and possibly eliminate, transcription workloads by entering prescription and follow-up information with laptops or tablets during patient visits. These labor-reducing capabilities free personnel to focus on other mission critical tasks.

8. More Affordable Healthcare

Electronic health records allow care providers to analyze information and troubleshoot issues. Enhanced accuracy decreases costs due to medical errors and increases the services that facilities can provide for outpatients. For in-patient treatment, EHRs improve caregiving efficiency and reduce hospitalization lengths. Overall, organizations that fully adopt the technology receive quantifiable returns over time.
Electronic health records improve caregiving operations. With the technology, medical staff members produce improved patient outcomes and coordinate services better. Patients also contribute to better care with their own participation using PHRs. The ease with which organizations can share digital records makes diagnoses more accurate and improves caregiving results, all while reducing associated costs and improving community health.

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Source

1. Menachemi N, Collum T. Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy. May 2011;4:47-55.

2. HealthIT.gov. Improved Care Coordination. HealthIT.gov [Web Page]. Available at: https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/improved-care-coordination. Accessed September 10, 2016.

3. HealthIT.gov. Benefits of Electronic Health Records. HealthIT.gov [Web Page]. Available at: https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/benefits-electronic-health-records-ehrs. Accessed September 10, 2016.

4. Hagland M. Nurses Know: EHRs Improve Patient Safety. Healthcare Infromatics [Web Page]. June 1, 2015. Available at: http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/blogs/mark-hagland/nurses-know-ehrs-improve-patient-safety. Accessed September 10, 2016.

5. American EHR. A Beginners Guide to Selecting an EHR. American EHR. May 5, 2010. http://www.americanehr.com/education/ehr-resources/ehr-implementation.aspx. Accessed September 10, 2016.

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