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Leveraging EHR and Wellness Data to improve the lives of old Aged People

April 21, 2021 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team

Digital transformation in the healthcare industry offer opportunities to help physicians and manage patient in primary care. Healthcare providers start using Electronic Health Records (EHR) to improve population health and better maintain health data.

With the rise in the elderly population as well as severity and variety of illness, Electronic Health Record (EHR) is key to addressing these issues and to improve the quality of life of the elderly population. EHR can store, organize and analyze medical records on the computer. Though relatively innovative, it has great potential to improve preventative care, primarily through making patient information easily available and large-scale data analyses more efficient.

Well, there are numerous advantages of using EHR but if medical professionals can find a way to use the EHR system in their practices, we may be well on our way to protecting the health of the elderly population. A well-designed EHR system can be extremely beneficial for a medical practice, allowing physicians to streamline their workflow, gather patient information. Doctors can examine a patient's health over several years and refresh their knowledge of the patient's disease, forgoing repetitive conversations of the patient's medical progress. This is important when it comes to elderly patients, who often have many years' worth of health records.

As senior care providers brace for a potential second wave of COVID-19, they must set their plans to keep old-aged citizens safe, happy, and healthy while in quarantine. So here is how EHR data can help providers act better on the more holistic, customized model of care for elderly patients, throughout the pandemic and into the future.

EHRs Simplify the Continuum of Clinical Care

Covid19 has highlighted a major operational pain point on the medical side of elderly patients. Depending on manual health data creates an information repository, and it's very difficult to transfer health information from care provider to and from health care providers when it's all on paper. EHR allows clear communication between care provider and patient with more efficiency and transparency. When a patient's profile is all digital, senior living staff can easily record, update, send, and recover information so that they can focus on what matters: giving excellent care.

EHR can facilitate patient's transition into and out of hospital walls, either because of a pandemic, a fall, or any health emergency. Instead of waiting for faxes, calls with care providers, when using EHRs, staff can better:

  • Supervise recovery
  • Monitor symptoms
  • Upload documents
  • Watch for signs that a resident requires to be re-hospitalized
  • Gives prescriptions

Digitized health data also improves the care continuum outside of the pandemic context. EHRs improve communication with everyone included in a patient's care, from on-site staff to outside providers.

Better Social Programming

Since the beginning of the pandemic, old-aged people have been tasked with social isolation. Loneliness has been linked to several serious health issues, involving dementia, depression, and heart disease. Senior living communities have risen to give great options during the pandemic through virtual, socially distanced, and outdoor programming. But they're always on the lookout for ways to develop programming to boost patient satisfaction. Activities directors can leverage data - survey responses, event feedback, and attendance numbers - to manage their planning and give programming that suits patients' needs.

Better Information

A consolidated source of information can provide physicians and public health officials to discuss weaker areas in the health care system, improve quality of care, prevent and overcome health problems, and thereby decrease the incidence of hospitalization of patients, including the elderly.

Now EHR is used in research, by using EHRs, researchers can productively and efficiently analyze patterns, such as the impact of diet on the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The EHR system, therefore, acts as a stimulus for medical research, which in turn increases doctors' knowledge of how to prevent and treat illnesses. Improving treatment and preventative care will unequivocally lead to increases in the quality of life of the elderly. EHRs provide a common base from which the team of professionals can collaborate; electronic records offer a means to observe and analyze demographic trends, making data easily transferrable from site to site.

Patient health is now readily available to both patients and the providers of services with whom patients communicate. These records can also provide the data necessary to reflect on the success of the patient-centered medical home program. Ultimately, in embracing this system, the health of the elderly can be cultivated to a greater extent.

COVID-19 has already taught us several valuable lessons about raising the quality of care and activities in senior living communities for the long term. Whether it's a post-hospitalization summary, a request for a way for family members to join virtual community events, or a surge in attendance of virtual yoga classes, each piece of data tells a story about residents' health ? and how communities can provide care suited to their needs.

This is a Smart Aging, technology design that allows older adults to live a life of joy, dignity, and wellbeing. But first, senior living communities need access to these stories. EHR systems and patient data can tell them.

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