Do Electronic Health Records Improve the Quality of Care?

Does keeping electronic health records helps doctors in improving the Quality of Care they provide to their patients? Know how electronic record keeping affects patient safety, medical research and patient engagement.

Many people would agree that the quality of care has declined in recent years. Doctors are seeing more patients than they ever have before, which means they have less time to spend on each patient. One way to combat this is through the use of electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs can improve efficiency but do not always lead to better outcomes for patients. In this blog post, we will discuss how EHRs affect the quality of healthcare.

What Is An Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

It is the digital record of health information for an individual created, managed, and consulted by medical professionals such as nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers. A medical facility can store the records on a computer or internet server. EHRs are becoming more popular in our increasingly digital society. Initially, they developed to improve communication between doctors and hospitals to standardize treatment processes and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, they have not been 100% adopted nationwide yet because some workflows have changed. Some medical facilities report that using electronic health records has slowed down treating patients because of the time needed to input everything into them. In, there is information on how electronic health records have positively impacted the extensive data integration for healthcare companies in the country.

EHR Impact On Healthcare Today

It has become the most efficient way to document patient information. Once EHRs were introduced, doctors and nurses became able to enter a vast amount of patient data into the system while talking with their patients, which led to less time wasted on paperwork. Early adopters saw a 25% reduction in administrative costs than those who had not adopted it yet. Hospital employees could focus more on treating patients instead of spending countless hours entering the information onto paper charts and filling out insurance forms.

It has become easier for providers to access records of patients they are now treating instead of going through several files to find vital test results or history. A doctor or nurse can now refer back to the computer screen that stores all this information within seconds and knows the entire medical record.

Ways EHR Improves The Quality Of Care

1. Patient Safety and High Quality of Service

Electronic health records help hospitals to provide safer services for patients. Several preventable medical errors, both fatal and nonfatal, are caused by a failure in the record-keeping process. Electronic records can't be lost or misread as it sometimes happens with paper-based systems. Health care professionals no longer have to spend hours collecting data from various sources. It increases their efficiency and provides better service to patients through fewer interruptions and delays.

2. Enriched Portability and Sharing for Patients and Healthcare Providers

With electronic health records, it is much easier to transfer health information between different providers. For example, a patient who several doctors and hospitals have treated can easily carry electronic records of all their tests and procedures with them. And this will help the current doctor know how to treat them. Electronic medical records also allow healthcare professionals to share medical records while ensuring the total security needed for such sensitive data. In addition, electronic health records make it easier for patients to access their records remotely and conveniently. They can bring their medical history along no matter where they are.

3. Improved Patient Engagement

Electronic health records have significantly affected how patients communicate with doctors. Patients can now access and track their health information from home, through the Internet, or other devices. They even have an option to create online medical records for themselves and keep them updated in real-time. This system helps patients have records from doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, which allows them to keep track of all vital information concerning their health. The patient takes part in the medical decision-making and feels more confident about their condition.

4. Effective Quality of Clinical Research

Traditionally, a research paper gets registered to a single hosting site. It makes it impossible to find when searching from different places. Moreover, every clinical trial requires the registration of its protocol and study data by law. However, this does not necessarily help people looking for the most relevant knowledge in an easy way for researchers. The new system linked the clinical research information of one person in an electronic health record so that researchers can find relevant knowledge with ease. They can see and track every aspect of a patients' health condition and medication history using the system when researching how a disease came to be, how it affects the body, and how they can treat it.

5. Preventable Disease Management for Patients

People can prevent some diseases through education and vaccinations, but not all patients receive this information. Using an EHR may help people learn about the importance of preventable diseases in a more convenient way. It may also help hospitals educate their patients on protecting themselves or their families from preventable diseases. With every patient's details in the system, a doctor can tell if they have got vaccinated before or not. This way, they can get the vaccination if they haven't. The use of an EHR may allow for better patient care while possibly preventing the spreading of illnesses.

In conclusion, electronic health records are the best thing that happened to the health sector, and they will bring some positive results in the future as well. Having all patients' records electronically is much better than having them on paper because they are easy to access and store. Electronic health records are changing the way that doctors practice medicine.

A report by the CDC found that about 88% of physicians working with an EHR system had a higher satisfaction level. It gets attributed to how efficient electronic medical records do their work. Leading to less time wasted on finding patient information from different sources and databases. Also, there has been an increase in patient satisfaction, since in most cases, no copies of laboratory tests or imaging studies need to get distributed separately.


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