10 Reasons To Switch To EHR

Published: 08th August 2009
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An Electronic health record or EHR refers to an individual patient's medical record in digital format. Electronic Health Records or EHR is an emerging technology . The question that is frequently asked is, What does it do? How it works? How can it help in medical world? Basically EHR is a software that manages the health records of the patients in an efficient way. EHR basically converts the patient's record in digital format. As it is an emerging technology It is still not yet widely used, but those who had, considered it to be the most reliable source for storage and retrieval of individual records with computer aid. EHRs are usually accessed over a network on a computer. It consists of electronic medical records (EMRs) from remote locations, and those records are in different formats like patient demographics, medical history, medicine and allergy lists (including immunization status), laboratory test results, radiology images, billing records and advanced directives.

There are several benefits to switch to electronic health records.

Top 10 Benefits to switch to EHR:

    Reduce Errors:

    Electronic Health Records (EHR) has proven to reduce the rate of medical errors. It manages all the records of the patients in one place so that all the data will remain synchronized . It also helps healthcare workers with decision support and provides fast access to medical literature and current best practices in medicine which enable proliferation of ongoing improvements in healthcare efficacy.

    Rapid and Remote Access:

    EHR provides Rapid and remote access to patient information to doctors and medical staff. They can access the information of their patients from anywhere in the world. This retrieval of data helps them to proceed with the treatment of the patient no matter wherever they are. In case of emergency they can forward the information to other clinicians for further reference without any delay.

    Classified information:

    Another reason to switch to EHR system is its ability to categorize and specify the information in well maintained manner. Once the data has been entered, it's safe and it will be categorized in its respective departments. For instance, the time and date of the patient's arrival and the treatment suggested and the time of discharge from the hospital, drugs prescribed, all can be entered in their specific columns and can be easily traced out later.

    Accuracy of information:

    Adopting an EMR in your practice helps standardize chart quality and minimize problems that can occur as a result of illegible handwriting, inconsistencies in documentation and other common human errors. Once Information stored it is not prone to human error and it can be retrieved on request of the patient or doctor. This saves time for both the patients and doctors.

    Diagnosis and Testing:

    With EMR, Duplication of lab tests, diagnostic imaging, work-ups, and other services can be prevented by good record-keeping of any type, because electronic records can be available at many locations at once, integration of services and awareness of duplication is facilitated. Physicians can also prescribe medicines from different pharmacies. The list of pharmacies is integrated into the software to rule out the possibility of any error. This system also allow doctors to perform diagnostic tests online and view the results.

    Reduced Cost in long term:

    One of the major sources of rapid growth in healthcare costs comes from medical imaging. Medicare spending on imaging rose from $6.80 billion in 2000 to $14.11 billion in 2006. Access to a patient's images in an EHR is an effective way to avoid duplicating expensive imaging procedures. Another high cost to healthcare is the printing and mailing of check which will be handled electronically via direct deposit. Other cost savings include the reduction of medical errors that can otherwise lead to further expensive care.

    Storage of Information:

    In EMR Information can be stored in many ways. As information is stored in digital format, it can be in the form of notes, reports, other documentations, facts and figures about the patient's disease and prescriptions. EMR provides quick access to records

    Updates and Notifications:

    The best part of this software is the updates section. Whenever a patient's information has been entered and then later modified, system will automatically update the new information and would send the notification. Hence, the doctor would just have to enter the name of the patient in the software and the whole information of that person would come up including the latest updates as well.

    Privacy Issues:

    The main concern of the patients is that their privacy has been respected or not. With the help of this software, one can be completely satisfied as far as the privacy issues are concerned. Since the data that has been stored manually in papers can easily be traced by anyone, this would not be possible with EMR Systems Information stored in it would be kept completely confidential. Passwords can be applied and information can be limited so that only the doctor can access it.

    Increased Revenue Generation:

    The software can be very beneficial in boosting up your business. Integration of the billing system with EMR helps in generating customized reports. Easy access to all supporting documents/reports required for claim processing helps in managing the entire process in a far more effective way - compared to a stand-alone billing system. Also in case of audits, complete patient charts and documentation is available for verification. Some EMR providers also offer the facility of instant online check for insurance eligibility to verify a patient's medical benefits. This information provides assurance that the insurance record on file is current before services are delivered.

Daniel Ray MD Healthcare EMR | EHR Systems

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