When Electronic Health Records emerged in the healthcare industry, it became clear that patient and doctor relationships were moving toward a digital transformation.
Electronic Health Records are a comprehensive report regarding patients’ overall health, possessing information about demographics, health problems, medications, specific to the patient, that is accessed by providers.
Electronic Health Records offer positive benefits for both providers and patients.
Reduce Technical Errors
In the healthcare industry, administrative work can take up a lot of time, and can sometimes lead to errors while managing a bulk load of paperwork.
EHR’s are able to store an immense amount of data in one digital space by automating and streamlining the physician’s workflow, reducing any sort of technical administrative error.
“As the amount of paperwork decreases, the required storage space also declines. With instant storage and retrieval of digital EHRs, healthcare providers may see their offices become less cluttered, as storage needs decrease and efficiency rises.” According to USFHealth.
This administrative error can also stem from illegible handwriting, transcription mistakes from physicians using manual paperwork.
“Medication errors are the leading cause of harm in hospitals. When using conventional paper systems, it is estimated that there is an average of one medication error per patient per day in hospitals” TimesColonist reports.
By eliminating the factors that cause technical errors, patients benefit and receive optimized care specific to their needs.
Targeted Patient Needs
While using EHR’s, physicians can retrieve patients information instantly, through data collection, which influences clinical decisions and enables the ability to coordinate proper care plans appropriate for the specific person.
“Continuous data collection allows for greater personalization of care, allowing providers to address health issues in a preventive manner.” According to Scranton University.
While coordinating care plans, doctors are able to learn quickly what to avoid while treating the patient, resulting in decreasing life-threatening errors that can occur through administering the wrong medication.
“Since the implementation of the EHR, there have been more than 2,000 computer alerts warning that a medication might be given to the wrong patient. In addition, there have been more than 3,600 alerts warning of potential drug interactions, and more than 6,000 allergy alerts — many of which resulted in a change to the physician’s order.” Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Oceanside Health Centre reported.
EHR’s provide quality management of patient’s needs, which creates an effective communication structure between the patient and the provider, ultimately avoiding life-threatening errors that can be common in the healthcare field.
When healthcare providers first adapt to the EHR trend, it can become costly.
Luckily, two programs were implemented that provides incentive payments to hospitals while integrating EHR technology.
- Medicaid EHR Incentive Program
- Medicare EHR Incentive Program
“The Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs were developed to encourage eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to adopt, implement, upgrade (AIU), and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.” According to CMS.Gov.
With the launch of these programs, physicians have an incentive to implement EHR into their patient care structures, which has been reported to increase cost savings over time.
Transcription and administrative costs are waived because the tasks of faxing, copying and mail expenses are eliminated which decreases costs and further pushes the healthcare market to be digitally reliant.
Adapting to this digital trend also results in more efficient patient diagnosis, which reduces incorrect lab orders and billing errors.
“The Center for Information Technology Leadership (CITL) has suggested that ambulatory EHRs would save $44 billion yearly and eliminate more than $10 in rejected claims per patient per outpatient visit.” according to practicefusion.
Electronic Health Records and Digital Transformation
Electronic Health Records was one of the first waves of digital transformation in the healthcare industry, and with technology constantly evolving, this tool will only become more advanced and patient-centered.
When the healthcare industry adapts to technology trends, like EHR, doctor-patient engagement is enhanced, creating efficient work environments and trust among patients.
Experts predict that by 2010, EHRs will be implemented in most hospitals as well as
“home health, specialist care, laboratory, pharmacy, population health, long-term care, and physical and behavioral therapies.”
The future is bright for Electronic Health Records and the benefits that they bring to patients and providers.