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Electronic Health Records: Definition and Benefits [Brief Description]

EHR systems basically create or manages the health information of the patient in a digital format. It can streamline, automate provider workflow and contains a patient medical history, treatment plans, laboratory test results, radiology images etc. Many people thought both EHR and EMR  are same, but actually, they are different. In our previous articles, we explain EMR Vs EHR, Virtual reality in healthcare, Hospital information system, Laboratory information system etc. Here we are going to explain EHR definition, benefits, implementation etc in detail.  

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In healthcare IT industry, EHRs can strengthen the relationship between clinicians and patients. It improves the patient care by reducing the duplication of tests, delays in treatment and improves the accuracy & clarity of medical records. It supports care related activities directly or indirectly through various interfaces including quality management, outcome reporting, and evidence-based decision support.

Benefits of Electronic Health Records:

With the radical advancement of technology in a healthcare field, electronic health records make information available instantly and securely to authorised users. With the help of this, information can flow seamlessly within a digital healthcare infrastructure and leverages the digital progress. EHR can provide benefits to both patients and healthcare providers depend on demand and accessibility. Following of benefits of EHR are explained below.

(i) Improved productivity and efficiency:

As compare to paper records, EHR is known to be more efficient because it allows centralised chart management and quicker access to patient information from anywhere anytime with condition-specific queries. The main goal of EHR is to retrieve data and lab results rapidly, thus saving time and money. Through this record lab results can be forwarded via secure messaging or available for viewing via a portal. It can make communications with diagnostic centres, clinicians, insurance providers faster & trackable which reduce the chances of lost messages and follow up calls. Through integrated scheduling, office management is streamlined that is linked t0 insurance claims, automated coding, progress notes etc. All these features made this system more efficient and productive.

(ii) Less Paperwork:

In hospitals, staff and clinicians can spend a whole of its day in filling, processing and managing patient forms which take lots of time. To save money and time, this system streamlines a number of routine tasks. As a number of paperwork decreases, the required storage space also got reduced. For faster retrieval of x-ray or lab results, EHRs are better organised than paper records. The main advantage is that the record is available for 24 hours a day, seven days a week whenever required. Digital EHRs decrease full-time equivalents and converting record rooms into more productive space .

(iii) Financial savings:

By the use of electronic health records, healthcare providers really save a lot of money and become financially sound. As per research, Center for Information Technology Leadership (CITL) says that ambulatory EHRs would save $44 billion yearly and eliminate more than $10 in rejected claims per patient per outpatient visit. Organization concludes that by eliminating record clerks and chart rooms there would be large savings. If clinicians switch to speech recognition and template use, it should reduce the cost of transcription.

(iv) Patient Care:

This system provides better patient care leads to improved management of chronic conditions, more accurate diagnoses etc. Both the patient and healthcare provider are correlated to each other, what’s good for healthcare providers is often good for patients, too. This system manages the patient record once means not required to fill same information at each doctor’s or specialist office. Patients are less susceptible to duplicative testing or imaging procedures because the results and images are all in one place.

To gather more information regarding healthcare technology, click below:

Cloud Computing impact on healthcare

Artificial intelligence changing healthcare 

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