How Electronic Health Records Work To Improve Patient Care

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Traditional data heavy industries are moving towards digitization. Incorporating modern technology into information processing offers reduced input times, improved information accuracy and easy flows of access to data pools. 

The medical industry in particular relies on vast knowledge banks and smooth information flows. The cost of human errors in this environment could be a life. With technological advancements in medicine doctors are equipped with growing options for testing and treating while internal operations are streamlined with assistance from a virtual space. 

Electronic Health Records are used by 75% of healthcare providers to offer enhanced patient care. They offer a more efficient and effective alternative to manual record maintenance and are a growing staple in the healthcare system.

What Is Electronic Health Record (EHR) And How It Improves Quality Of Patient Care

What are EHRs 

  • Electronic Health or Medical records are digital documentation that contain all the health related information of a patient. 
  • Data for this document is procured through authorized staff and attendants within the healthcare organization. This forms a verifiable, legally valid information repository. 
  • EHRs encourage more transparent workflows, improve patient safety and increase the quality of service offered. 
  • EHRs are required to meet eight mandatory functions; 
    • Physician or medical professional access to comprehensive patient information including allergies, test results, current medication and diagnosis. 
    • Fluid access to all test results conducted at any medical care facility. 
    • Digitized order entry.
    • Virtual support systems to prevent harmful drug interactions and ensure treatments are issued under strict quality guidelines. 
    • A secured space for online communication between healthcare providers and patients. 
    • Access to health records, illness management tools and resources for patients.
    • Electronic administration processes including workflow management and scheduling. 
    • Firm data storage and reporting mechanisms.
  • Convincing an organization to make the shift may be difficult. Barriers to incorporation include;
    • Smaller scale healthcare providers may not be able to undertake the high investment costs.
    • Healthcare providers may not feel the need to revamp organizational capabilities and introduce new management systems. 
    • The attempted redesign was unable to incorporate new digital technologies.
    • A growing concern of EHRs eventually rendered obsolete.
    • Lack of a skilled team or available resources to implement changes and offer support going forward. 
    • Digitization may prove more useful to urban environments and not to rural healthcare providers or government agencies.
    • A fear of the unknown and possible negative consequences.
  • It is important to note, the medical field is labor intensive. While mechanization can contribute to the industry, it is predominantly manually run. EHRs offer a multitude of benefits to the human labor employed in the field. This in turn improves quality of service and trickles down into better patient care. 

Electronic Health Records and Improving Patient Care

The benefits of EHRs are not limited to efficient information input and storage. Electronic health records offer a more streamlined system to reduce the stress undertaken by medical professionals. Benefits of EHRs in terms of improved patient care can be observed through;

Improved Safety and Patient Satisfaction

Introducing fluid information movement across medical platforms and into scheduling systems reduces wait times for patients. Additionally the improved communication between patients and their healthcare professional offer more meaningful interactions and improved satisfaction for both parties at every visit. Patients are also able to receive their prescriptions virtually in a secured format through EHR access. The new challenge for healthcare organizations is to identify what “predictive analytics” means to them and how it can be applied more successfully to make changes. 

Side Effect Prevention

EHRs often contain assessment tools to ensure adverse reactions from poorly planned ingredient interactions are reduced if not entirely eliminated. The records contain information about medication that should not be consumed together, allergies within patient information and a full medical history. This allows physicians to make efficient decisions without worrying possible negative repercussions of treatment options. 

Workflow Simplification

Patients suffering with long term or complex medical conditions are likely to have a large number of information packets regarding the same. Virtual health records allow healthcare professionals to review all necessary information in one centralized location. As a result financial and familial history are disclosed as well as other factors that affect treatment provision. The end result is faster treatment offered with a solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Improvement in Clinical Research Quality

Technological advancements allow for more detailed information recording. This is helpful with drug trial groups and population sampling. EHRs allow organizations to maintain comprehensive records mapping symptoms, failures and successes and use this information to improve formulation and down the line healthcare quality. 

Understanding Disease Prevention

EHRs offer information regarding healthcare in general. Patients are able to use these systems to understand prospective risks or symptomatic behavior to prevent or quickly address various diseases. While healthcare risks are not preventable, access to the latest information in healthcare could save a life. 

Redefining Clinical Processes

Hospitals are high intensity environments dependent on split second decision making. To ease the burden on healthcare professionals, introducing EHRs allow for mechanization of repetitive tasks like vital monitoring. Doctors are able to multitask with less strain and produce higher quality service. Additionally the exchange of information within a virtual space creates less wait times for patients. Information can be sent directly to concerned departments allowing them to dispense solutions faster. 

Stronger Trust Between Patient and Provider

EHRs offer a transparent relationship between healthcare professionals and patients. With a single, verified and accessible repository for all health related information, patients can easily have queries addressed and information gaps filled. This limits prospects for misunderstandings or errors within a patient’s record. Here are the patient engagement strategies to improve interactions with your patients

Conclusion

Electronic Health Records drastically improve the quality of patient care. The movement of large, sensitive information pools to a virtual space create minimal margins for errors, miscommunications and neglect. EHRs have created efficiency and effectiveness for both professionals and patients with transparent and faster information sharing.  Invensis aim to provide healthcare BPO services and healthcare support services which enrich resource allocation, boost financial performance and increase the effectiveness of providers. With the hassle of healthcare administration removed, you can focus your efforts on what you do best.  

Final Thoughts 

Electronic Health Records have offered digitization to the healthcare industry. The result; more efficient and effective practices that translate to reduced wait times, improved communication and more comprehensive service. The end result of EHRs is an overall improvement in patient care through reduction in errors, miscommunication and stress on healthcare professionals. EHRs should be incorporated into any healthcare organization looking to improve their overall performance and quality of care. 

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