7 Important Benefits Of Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

There are many important benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) to consider. Here's why they make such a powerful difference

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September 9, 2019
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It has taken time, and of course the infrastructure needed to be put in place, but the world is finally waking up to the benefits of storing electronic health records which are easily disseminated and accessed, but at the same time can also be guarded. EHRs as they are known are essentially real-time records which contain patient histories, covering medical issues and treatments provided. Here are seven particularly effective benefits of moving health records online:

Communication between physicians

Under the old paper-based system, it was often difficult for different specialists to secure records in a timely fashion, and without the added inconvenience of finding incomplete records when they arrive. Essentially, EHRs will allow instantaneous access to full and up-to-date records which can be shared quickly to the benefit of the patient. Just one of the many added benefits of this fact is that medical evaluations can be in-depth immediately, and accurate diagnoses can be made. This means that patients have to wait a lot less to get an accurate diagnosis and an accurate diagnosis can be made more often with the new system. It’s simpler, easier and more effective for both the patients and the doctors, meaning that both groups will be happier and more satisfied with the medical work.

In emergency situations

Aside from diagnosis, EHRs can allow more effective and efficient follow-ups ensures aftercare is as good as it possibly can be under the guidance of a number of specialists based in different locations. Not only does it ensure the physician has all the information that is available, it also be critical to have that information readily available in an emergency.

Relying upon an individual who is injured, in pain and in shock to furnish medical staff with their medical records is simply not the best way to deal with an emergency situation. EHRs help immensely. This way, the patient can just be the patient and focus on their healing instead of on their records and what they need to remember to tell the doctors. This information can be a life-saver at some point as it can be accessed quickly and effectively to deliver the best results for the patients and enable the doctors to know what needs to be done with the patients.

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Reduce fraudulent claims and prescription abuse

An electronic-based system will always be more difficult to manipulate than a paper-based model. Only the most determined of hackers, of which there are very few, could find a way to manipulate the system, and even that is becoming less likely with cloud-based security measures now enacted.

Quite simply it becomes much more difficult to abuse the system through fraudulent claims and ‘lost’ prescriptions. And in cases where prescriptions are genuinely lost, a replacement can be issued in no time at all.

This just goes to show how much the system has improved the service and what the medical industry can provide. Patient records are safer and it can be much easier for people who really need it to get a prescription while people who don’t need it have less of a chance to steal.

Paperwork and storage

From a simple, practical viewpoint, EHRs solve storage issues. Furthermore, the time that physicians, nurses and other medical professionals spend filling out forms and then processing them can be drastically reduced with digital storage. The cloud has further enabled effective storage and dissemination. This means that the patients can get more care from the nurses and other medical professionals without them being tired from the paperwork. The wait times can also be reduced which means that the patients will be happier in general.

Incentive programs

Healthcare providers may be discouraged to move online with their health records due to restrictive costs, but these costs can actually be offset by a number of incentive programs which have been put in place to actually motivate providers to move to a digital solution. EHRs only work if everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet, so the likes of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program can really assist providers that qualify to move with the times.

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Privacy

Privacy concerns have often been used as reason not to move records electronically, but finally sense is being seen and more people understand that electronic records which are encrypted online are actually much more secure than paper records which are kept in a filing cabinet somewhere. EHRs actually provide a better solution in terms of protected privacy. Only the most skilled hackers can get through to these highly protected records and even then, it would be hard for them to unseal them and use them.

More efficient insurance and workplace decision-making

EHRs don’t just benefit the patient and the healthcare provider in that the information, as long as it is allowed to be shared, can allow for more informed and speedier decisions to be made in terms of health insurance and even occupational health concerns and solutions. Once again, with the information available in real-time, long and time-consuming paper trails become a thing of the past.

Better patient care

Which all lead to better patient care. It’s all well and good discussing the befits to healthcare providers, insurance companies and businesses, but at the end of the day all of us are vulnerable to health issues, and so understanding that our health records are readily available in real-time to ensure more efficient care can give increased peace of mind.

In summary

The benefits of EHRs are clear to all parties involved in healthcare, which really means every single one of us. The benefits of moving records online should be felt by everyone, from patients to providers, from insurance companies to businesses. The future of healthcare continues to rosier with the arrival of EHRs, which are already helping to provide the more efficient provision of healthcare to millions of people.