Electronic health records have changed the healthcare system and significantly improved patient outcomes. Here are their main benefits.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were anxiously awaiting medical records and had to jump through several hoops to finally access them?
You’re not alone; accessing medical information has been a huge concern for patients, health care professionals, and even policymakers.
As a result, the past few years have seen more adoption of electronic health records, or EHRs.
But what do EHRs do, and how do they benefit patients exactly?
Below, we examine five ways that EHR technology has changed the healthcare system and how it has improved patient outcomes.
The Benefits Of Electronic Health Records
Here are 5 ways in which electronic health records have boosted patient outcomes:
1. More Coordinated Care
The EHR system has streamlined medical records and ensured vital information doesn’t slip through by enabling information sharing.
If you have been to multiple doctors, you understand the complexity of passing information between each party.
But EHR for small practice businesses and hospitals allows the digital sharing of documents and notes including care preferences like whom to contact in an emergency and where to keep medicine.
Thanks to EHRs, every medical record relevant to a patient can be accessed by professionals at the touch of a button.
2. Heightened Safety
The truth is that humans are often erroneous, especially when under immense pressure. Such is the case when prescribing drugs or when a diagnosis is delayed.
Of course, the patient is always the victim of such mistakes and bears its devastating results. But with an EHR system, the whole population stands to benefit.
It can flag drug interactions, allergies and contradictions, and worrying trends resulting from applying specific drugs. This is the power of big data at work.
The Office of National Coordinators for Healthcare has seen the system’s benefits and is advocating for EHR use across the entire healthcare system. According to the department’s lead, the system not only transmits information but also stores it in the system, so there’s a record of the patient’s treatment history.
Electronic health records expose safety problems when they occur, but they also help providers avoid severe consequences and lead patients to better outcomes.
EHRs have also been known to identify and correct operational problems.
3. New Discoveries
One of the leading researchers collecting longitudinal real-world data (RWD) has said that despite enough research datasets that answer precise research questions, it’s usually hard and sometimes impossible to view the entire patient’s journey.
But EHRs provide a better picture of the patient, leading to opportunities for new discoveries in the patient’s medical history.
Now more than ever, doctors can quickly access old documents and make inferences about the patient’s current condition.
4. Better Decision Making
EHR also includes clinical decision support (CDS). These are tools that analyze vast volumes of clinical and digital data and suggest the next treatment for each patient.
With this information, medical professionals can ensure that the correct information is delivered to the right person at the right time and make better decisions about what each patient needs.
5. Better Patient Engagement
Say goodbye to feeling left in the dark about your health records. The system prioritizes the patient and places them in control of their healthcare journey.
It gives patients access to clinic letters, doctor appointments, and test results that would otherwise not be exposed to the patient.
By prioritizing patient engagement, the electronic health records system gives the patient more power.
While the electronic health record system is relatively new, one thing is clear – there’s a lot of good that EHRs can do.
If today’s EHR technology gives patients and professionals faster access to data than ever before, who knows what could be possible in the next ten years?