Electronic health records contain significantly fewer errors than paper records, according to experts.
Communication between physicians can be greatly improved with the use of EHR, allowing each party full access to a patient’s medical history rather than a snapshot-type overview from a current visit. This access allows for a more in-depth evaluation, and enables doctors to reach an accurate diagnosis more quickly.
In addition, electronic health records can make it easier for doctors to follow up with patients and track continuing care, both under their supervision and that of the patient’s other doctors.
“I can quickly and easily pull up test results in the exam room to review with my patients,” Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., of Mayo Clinic in Minnesota says on the Mayo Clinic website. “I also can verify when they had past exams or procedures. I can even show them results of their imaging tests on the screen.”
At the very least, electronic health records can save time during a doctor’s office visit. And in case of emergency, these records can provide critical, life-saving information to emergency care providers.
People who find themselves in mass casualty situations, such as natural disasters, can benefit greatly from electronic medical records. Healthcare providers can use EHR in an emergency situation to get a more accurate picture of a patient’s medical history more quickly than with traditional means.
Catastrophic events have demonstrated that patients in these situations are often confused and frightened, making it easy to forget personal medical details. Every second counts during an emergency, so having access to a patient’s medical history, blood type and allergy information, when the patient is unable to communicate can be the difference between life and death. Also, the digital format can make quick access more scalable.
EHRs allow providers to maintain comprehensive, accurate and updated medical records. They’re easy to access, facilitating a level of coordinated care never before possible. Clinicians are able to see exactly what prescriptions and treatment plans patients are receiving under the care of other medical professionals, reducing redundancy and the risk of errors.
Providers are able to decrease paperwork, increase safety, eliminate duplicate testing and improve the overall health of patients when using EHRs, resulting in significantly lower costs.
EHRs help to improve healthier lifestyle choices for everyone by encouraging people to take preventative care measures, practice proper nutrition and engage in heightened physical activity. Additionally, they help to improve the work-life balance of clinicians by improving productivity, giving them more time to focus on their personal lives.
When pertinent medical information is aimlessly kept in a variety of different places, it’s easy to run into communication barriers, causing valuable information to be lost along the way. The information contained in EHRs makes it possible for medical professionals to more effectively diagnose patients, reduce medical errors and provide all-around safer care.
Not only is it challenging for medical professionals to share paper health records, this outdated method also presents countless opportunities for security breaches. EHRs facilitate the seamless sharing of medical records with patients and other providers, ensuring that private information stays under wraps.
When a patient is under the care of multiple doctors, tracking his or her history, including allergies, blood type, current medications, past procedures and other relevant information, can be problematic when relying on paper charts. The use of electronic health records allows multiple care providers, regardless of location, to simultaneously access a patient’s record from any computer. The electronic record can provide up-to-the-minute information on the patient’s full history, including current test results and the recommendations of other physicians, allowing more efficient collaboration on multiple facets of a patient’s care.
Medical practitioners can quickly transfer patient data to other departments or providers, while also reducing errors, which yield improved results management. Both patients and employees often respond positively to these process improvements, as it can help keep a facility’s schedule on track.
Reducing medical errors is obviously of tremendous benefit to both doctor and patient. An electronic health records system of information eliminates the problem of lost and/or misplaced patient files while also naturally eliminating data errors that can occur from transcription.
According to experts, the advantages of emergency health records produce a marked increase in the health-related safety of patients.
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