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Advantages of EHR for rural health care organizations

January 20, 2020 - by Swati Bansal, Webmedy team


Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are like a blessing for the healthcare industry as well as patients and it has shown tremendous advantages for rural healthcare facilities along with critical access hospitals. Be it the United States or India, almost one-fifth of the population, as per the statistics, lives in a rural area.

There are small rural-based clinics and hospitals or critical care services, which are providing the treatment and health-related services to patients coming from around and even reckoned as the foundation of rural healthcare delivery framework.

The locals living in these rural areas face problems while accessing such healthcare services, such as coming by covering the long distance to seek for the right care and treatment. As rural-based clinics and hospital care are the only sources for patients residing in these communities, these are more focused on offering additional services that are not accessible by patients in otherwise. To improvise care and services, rural hospitals are expected to focus on the following aspects:

  • Improvise access to the services, involving emergency care, and meet with diverse community health requirements of patients living in different rural communities.
  • Engage different rural communities in the overall healthcare system development in an efficacious way.
  • Build collaborative delivery stems and implement them in the rural communities as the basic framework applicability for rural healthcare.
  • Attempt to focus on transitions to the urban healthcare system, care coordination, and alignment.

Challenges

In small rural hospitals, the challenges are unique and distinct faced by people, staff, and others including small size, limited workforce, shortage of doctors, limited financial resources, low patient volume, lack of connectivity and more.

Advantages of electronic health records

Electronic health records (EHR) software usage and adoption is the key to resolving all the concerns in one go. EHRs are specifically beneficial and rewarding to rural healthcare hospitals and clinics worldwide and it has been proven that it can even nullify all the aspects that they need to take care of, as stated above. In rural areas and communities, where the clinics are good and the specialists and doctors are few and distance is much, EHRs can offer many benefits for the advantage of all. And, some of them are as mentioned below.

  • Instantly provide updated, reliable, accurate and thorough detail about patients that can assist rural health service providers to make timely decisions as well as save lives.
  • Enable rural healthcare service providers and clinics to articulate with the healthcare IT capabilities and features seamlessly involving telehealth to approach remote pharmacists, clinicians, staff members, and others at its earliest, along with improvising and enhancing access for the patients.
  • Enable people and provide access to effective and timely transfer to other facilities as well for prime services that are not been provided locally.
  • Assist rural healthcare service providers, clinics and hospitals to proffer efficient and faster local care as well as emergency based care on time and therefore helping in lowering down the cost for rural communities.
  • Improvise and provide a boost to specialty referrals in rural communities where specialists are few.

Certainly, there are many rural organizations and healthcare providers that are availing the great benefits and positives of using electronic health records, which are the digital copy of patient's history, record and everything related to him/her, meant to not only improvise rural health quality and care but also be advantageous for society and patients in getting quicker treatment and right care.

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