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Why EHR is Important

February 28, 2020 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team

EHR software collects, records and maintains patient data. This can include common patient demographics information, medical history, diagnoses, medications, prescription, allergy list, documents and lab results. The goal of an EHR is to organize patient data, creating it simpler for healthcare staff to evaluate a patient's record before or while their visit.

With the old method of physical file folders, you could simply have health records scattered across various doctor's offices. If you were to go to a new office, data would need to copied and sent or faxed to your new physician to give him full knowledge of your health. You can see how many possible difficulties could come up with this - a patient not remembering their past visit information, missing or incomplete records, and hard-to-read handwriting - the list continues.

EHR tries to digitize your health records so that they're comprehensible by all of your health care providers. Providers take notes in an EHR system so that any doctor in your future can find them, easily understand them, and can add to them.

EHR has also been in the limelight over recent times due to the Customer Management System (CMS) "Significant Use" laws, which have motivated hospitals and practices to implement digital systems.

What are the benefits of using EHR?

  • Improved Collaboration

    Information collected by primary physicians can be easily shared, examined by specialists and other team members which results in avoiding duplicate testing, lower care costs hence provide better outcomes.
  • Flexibility

    EHR provides you the flexibility to choose the platform as per your needs. You can choose SaaS model or on-premises model according to your needs and specifications. Provides physicians the flexibility to review tests, view reports, submit prescriptions from outside of his office allows great freedom for physicians and increased the speed of patient care. Instead of waiting for couriers or rushing back to the offices, doctors will have the flexibility to view the records on smartphones, tablets or desktop from anywhere at any time through internet access.
  • Lesser Paperwork

    EHRs streamline your workflow as the amount of paperwork decreased the need for storage space also decreased.
  • Financial Benefits

    Avoid loss of medical incentives and payment cuts by using a certified EHR; a certified EHR meets all the requirements including security and interoperability. By the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, qualified providers (EPs) can get incentives for the implementation and significant use of EHR technology.
  • Improved Quality of Care

    By promoting all phases of patient care, including security, efficiency, patient-centeredness, interaction, opportunity, power, and equality, EHRs give the capacity to change the full health information of a patient in real-time. Reliable, updated and precise information usually results in greater quality of care, from more reliable analyses to overcome errors. By giving automated reminders for preventive visits and screenings, EHRs can aid patients to better handle their conditions and engage more fully in their healthcare.
  • Better Patient Outcomes

    As defined above what's good for healthcare providers are frequently good for patients, too. Smooth access to a patient's entire records means no more filling out the identical paperwork at each doctor's or specialist's clinic. Each provider can see which tests a patient has had, along with which medications worked and which didn't. Patients are less susceptive to the same testing or imaging methods because the results and pictures are all in one place. Better coordination between providers leads to extra correct diagnoses, increased control of chronic diseases and greater overall patient care, which should always be the primary center of healthcare plan. By promoting healthier lifestyles in the whole society, including improved physical exercise, a healthier diet, and wider use of preventative care.
  • Better Clinical Decision

    EHR helps in making better clinical decisions, by combining patient data from various sources.
  • Convenience

    When it comes to obtaining patient data, users need to think of ease of remote access, versatility, and the movement that proposed EHR merchants can contribute. Utilizing a platform without portable access is a disadvantage for the health industry as it decreases convenient way to patient data during treatment, as well as entrance to the system if staff wants to register or renew data immediately. The value statement is that workers such as physicians and nurses interacting with the EHR can be more effective by having a way to have data at their fingertips.
  • Improved Productivity

    EHR can impact a physician's productivity by enabling them to provide quality and safer patient care.
  • Portability and Sharing

    As a doctor, you may be the patient's main care provider, but it's unlikely that you are the only doctor the patient is seeing. Patients may have numerous doctors covering from cardiologists to dermatologists. Every doctor a patient sees need to have the same knowledge. In inpatient care without EHRs, providers hold only a fragmented picture of the patient's medical history, current analyses, and medications which could lead to various difficulties. EHRs grant a medium for patients to participate in their treatment with all their doctors and ensure the data is up to date. EHRs make sure that each provider in the patient's series of care knows about the patient's medical history and current diagnoses, and also know what additional medications they are on.
  • Patient Engagement

    EHR help in patient engagement through a patient portal. With the patient portal, patients can access their health records, track information and make appointment requests through their portal. Patients receive important alerts about appointments and billing which helps to reduce staff's time. It helps in sending and receiving critical alerts about the patient's medical status. Communication between patients and physicians is improved.
  • Emergency Situations

    EHR can save time during clinic visits and can be life-saving in case of emergency. During a natural disaster, EHR can significantly benefit the patient who finds themselves in calamity situations. When a patient is not able to communicate in case of catastrophic events, the digital format can help here to access a patient's medical history that can make a difference between life and death.
  • Benefits for Medical Staff

    If you work as a medical attendant, health records technician, and in some cases in specific roles like EKG engineer, you'll need to know EHR and, in some roles, how to enter data into EHR systems. Laws allow authorized medical representatives to enter information into EHR systems. Medical staff taking on that responsibility can be useful to the doctors and nurses they work with and make the office-flow more smooth for both the healthcare team and patients. For example, the doctor can be communicating with the patient while a medical staff registers information into the record, reducing the need for a doctor or nurse to interrupt the discussion and type on a laptop in the medical room. Laws allow authorized medical representatives to enter information into EHR systems. Medical staff taking on that responsibility can be useful to the doctors and nurses they work with and make the office-flow more smooth for both the healthcare team and patients. For example, the doctor can be communicating with the patient while a medical staff registers information into the record, reducing the need for a doctor or nurse to interrupt the discussion and type on a laptop in the medical room.

Additional benefits of using EHR

EHRs and their ability to share electronic information can enable you to offer greater quality and care for patients while improving visible improvements for your organizations.

  • Electronic health records include undoubtedly fewer errors than paper records, according to specialists.
  • Internal communication among staff can be greatly improved by the help of EHR, offering everyone full access to the patient's medical history.
  • Also, electronic health records make it easier for doctors to catch up with a patient's health status and monitor continuing care, both below their guidance and that of the patient's other doctors.
  • Allows fast access to patient records for more coordinated, effective care.
  • EHRs help to share electronic information with patients and other doctors.
  • EHRs support providers to more efficiently diagnose cases, decrease medical errors and give safer care.
  • EHRs promote patient and provider communication, as well as health care utility.
  • It allows for more reliable and secure medication prescribing.
  • Improving privacy and safety of patient data.
  • Serving a provider's work-life equilibrium and enhanced productivity.
  • Allowing physicians to increase efficiency and reach their business goals.
  • Decreasing costs by limiting paperwork, advanced safety, lowered duplication of testing and refined health.

In 2016, research found that over 95% of qualified hospitals have shown significant use of certified health IT under the Affordable Care Act. But despite the popular use of EHRs, these products can be complicated and hold a wide range of abilities that vary from vendor to vendor. EHR can improve productivity/efficiency in primary care physician's workloads. Enabling physicians to improve efficiency and better work-life balance. With the help of technology and changes in health care, EHR can be a better option to improve your productivity. While the evolution of new EHR technology can be challenging, various actions can be used to enable a practice to rapidly enhance productivity and overall revenue. With advanced technology and the right choice, it comes up with the perfect opportunity for EHRs to make a more connected healthcare experience.

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