Electronic Health Records (EHRs) trace their roots back to the 1960s when Dr. Lawrence L. Weed developed the concept of problem-oriented medical records , which became the foundation of today’s EHRs. Fast forward to 2004, and President George W. Bush signed an executive order that paved the way for the creation of a national health information network that could securely exchange electronic health information. Since then, EHRs have become an integral part of healthcare delivery, with no signs of slowing down.
According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2020, 85.9% of office-based physicians now use EHRs. The global EHR market is projected to reach a whopping $39.7 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research. It’s no wonder why EHRs are becoming the preferred means to provide better healthcare.
In this article, we explore the benefits of EHRs for patients and answer some frequently asked questions about this revolutionary technology.
1. Improved patient engagement
Fostering a positive relationship with patients can have significant benefits for healthcare officials. The National Business Group on Health reports that patients who are engaged in their care have 8% lower healthcare costs. Moreover, over 70% of patients are willing to increase their engagement in their care. Engaged patients are more likely to ask questions, provide feedback, follow up with treatments, and actively participate in decision-making, benefiting both the patient and the hospital. By fostering patient engagement, healthcare officials can increase patient satisfaction and reduce healthcare costs.
There are several ways healthcare officials can engage patients effectively:
• Utilize technology: Leveraging mobile apps, regular notifications, and telehealth services can significantly improve patient engagement.
• Facilitate seamless communication Effectively communicating with patients can help resolve their problems and concerns, encouraging them to ask more questions.
• Embrace patient-centred care: Placing patients’ needs at the forefront of care can help healthcare officials tailor their services to better fit the individual.
• Spread awareness: Providing patients with educational materials such as videos, brochures, and messages can help them understand their health conditions and treatment options.
By implementing these strategies, healthcare officials have raised patient engagement, leading to improved health outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced healthcare costs.
2. Improves patient care
The healthcare industry has been transformed by the digitization of patient records through Electronic Health Records (EHRs). This technology has brought about many benefits, including:
• Improved Efficiency: EHRs have made it more convenient for healthcare officials to access patient information, allowing them to spend more time analyzing the case and less time handling paperwork. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 87% of office-based physicians used an EHR system in 2020. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that EHRs significantly reduced the time required for clinical documentation.
• Improved Care: With the reduced time required, healthcare officials can dedicate more time to diagnose and treat patients, providing top-notch services.
• Enhanced Safety: The safety and health of patients are of utmost importance. EHRs can reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. A medical journal reported that implementing EHRs has reduced the risk of adverse drug events by up to 80%.
Overall, EHRs have brought about a revolution in the healthcare sector by improving efficiency, care, and safety. With an increasing number of healthcare providers adopting EHR systems, patients can expect more accurate, efficient, and effective care.
3. Increase in revenue
The adoption of EHR has proven to be a significant advantage in the healthcare industry. One of its most notable benefits is the improvement of billing and coding accuracy. With EHRs, medical billing and coding become more up-to-date and accurate, and as it reduces denied claims it improves the reimbursement rate. This results in a significant improvement in the revenue stream.
EHRs also help in increasing patient volume and coding specificity, ensuring that providers have the clinical details needed to support accurate coding, resulting in higher reimbursement rates. Additionally, EHRs have drastically reduced medical errors, which can lead to improved patient outcomes, reduced malpractice claims, and ultimately, increased revenue.
A study by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology showed that medication errors were reduced by 55% with the implementation of EHRs, resulting in better health management of patients. In summary, the benefits of EHRs add up, ultimately contributing to the increase in revenue for healthcare organizations.
4. Reduction in errors
Research suggests that the annual loss of over 50,000 lives is attributed to diagnostic errors, with one in every 31 hospitalized patients in the United States succumbing to Healthcare-associated infections. Additionally, medication errors negatively impact a minimum of 1.5 million individuals in the US. These statistics are truly alarming, highlighting the gravity of errors in healthcare.
However, evidence indicates that the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) may alleviate this issue by lowering the incidence of errors in healthcare. EHRs have proven effective in enhancing medication safety, promoting superior communication, reducing duplication of testing, and improving patient outcomes
5. Faster prescribing
For a long time, doctors’ poor handwriting has been the subject of many jokes and memes. However, the reality is that scribbled handwriting can result in serious medication errors, posing a significant risk to patient safety. Although pharmacists are trained to decipher the handwriting, there are still times when they cannot accurately read the prescription, leading to potential errors.
Fortunately, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have eliminated the need for handwritten prescriptions. Instead, physicians can electronically send the prescription to the pharmacy, minimizing the risk of errors caused by illegible handwriting. EHRs also offer several tools that enable physicians to prescribe medications quickly and accurately.
Furthermore, EHRs have been shown to reduce the time taken for physicians to prescribe medication significantly. This leads to a more efficient healthcare process, as physicians can focus on providing quality care to patients instead of spending valuable time deciphering handwriting. The use of EHRs also enhances communication among healthcare providers, as they can quickly and easily access patient medication histories and other critical information. Overall, the implementation of EHRs has improved medication safety, accuracy, and efficiency, contributing to better patient outcomes.
Read more: https://www.selecthub.com/medical-software/benefits-of-ehr-systems/
Frequently asked questions
• What is an EHR? Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are medical records of patients that are maintained and updated digitally by healthcare professionals. These records contain a patient’s medical history, medication information, lab test results, imaging studies, and other necessary health information.
• What are the types of EHR?
The two main types of EHR are:
Web-based EHRs: They are hosted on remote servers and accessed through a web browser.
Client-server EHRs: installed on the local computer, the data can be accessed through a secure network.
• Are EHRs required by law? Yes, most countreis use EHR . In 2009, in the US, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), there is US legislation to incentivize the adoption of EHR and support the country’s healthcare industry.
• How do healthcare providers choose an EHR system? Healthcare officials must consider parameters like practice size, cost, patient mix, number of daily users, security and compliance, interoperability, functionality, usability and vendor reputation and support.
• What are the steps to set up EHRs?
Understand your needs
Do your research
Talk to the industry experts
Take demos of EHRs
Test it thoroughly
Train your staff
Keep in touch with the vendor for further updates.
• What are the benefits of Electronic Health Records for Providers:
Better Coordination of Care
Access to Comprehensive Patient Information:
Improved Efficiency and Communication
• What are the benefits of Electronic Health Records for Providers:
The main components are medical history, clinical notes, test results/imaging studies, and demographic information.
• Cons of EHR?
The implementation faces technical difficulties, data and security issues, user adoption, and at times workflow disruptions.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have emerged as a revolutionary process poised to transform the healthcare sector. According to our article, the top 5 benefits of EHRs are enhanced patient engagement and care, reduced errors, expedited prescribing, and increased revenue. Additionally, other notable benefits include decreased unnecessary testing, improved diagnostic accuracy, increased efficiency, and enhanced control over personal health information, among others. As humanity evolves, technology will undoubtedly advance as well, and it is crucial to embrace these technological advancements; otherwise, we risk becoming obsolete.
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