Pros and Cons of Electronic Health Records
It’s intricate to envision a present-day industry that doesn’t uses computers and customized software. Every business sphere has been impacted by technology, and the healthcare sector has not been immune to this. Electronic health records, also known as electronic medical records have become ubiquitous, but their adoption hasn’t received unanimous approval. There have been reservations and criticism of the technology, but owing to their overall benefits, they continue to be widely used in the healthcare sector.
This data comprises of contact info, demographics belonging, medical history, allergies, diagnoses, upcoming treatment plans, past and current medications, immunizations, prescription images, and test results. EHR software’s not only saves time and money, but also helps them to correspond instantly with insurers, hospitals and referring physicians. Some medical organizations are by now transitioning to (EHR) system which will allow the doctors, nurses and other health workers save time and provide excellent care.
Although, not all medical organizations are making the shift from a paper-based system to EHR system because of unfamiliarity with the technology. It is discreet for a practitioner to want to evaluate the benefits as well as possible negative aspect of an EHR solution before implementing it. Some of the pros of electronic health records include,
Accessibility to patient information – Instead of killing time locating a patient’s paper chart, the medical staff can save time by enabling access to patient data anytime. Additionally, sharing of the patient’s medical information across health care providers in different organizations and states would be easier as the data is already digitalized. EHR not only provides fast access to vital patents data such as medical history, blood type, and allergies but also helps during emergency situations, like natural disasters, when patients are often in shock, frightened or confused, to communicate necessary medical information.
Reforming workflows and reduced paperwork – The time and effort consumed during filling out endless forms, processing billing requests, and other administrative tasks are reduced. It rationalizes custom administrative tasks and makes accessibility easier with elimination of paperwork with limited amount of documents to be filled and signed. Healthcare providers are also able to interpret handwritten notes and information easily as EHRs are written in a uniform style, making less confusion and errors.
Improving medical practice management – Integrating centralized chart management with scheduling systems connected to medical progress notes and claims makes the whole process more effective. Since it offers effortless or routine delivery of information, availability of medical records instantaneously to the needed health care professionals makes it more efficient to position and process patient data.
Better health and health care – Healthcare can be provided by improving all phases of patient care including safety, effectiveness, patient-driven, communication, educating, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. Whereas by encouraging patients for better health improved lifestyles including better physical activities, nutrition, prevention of behavioral risks, and wider use of preventative care.
Reduced costs - EHR system helps reduce over cost through reduced paperwork, enhanced privacy and security of patient data, reduced duplication of testing, and improved health. Health care organizations can also save money by outsourcing the EHR to a third-party as compared to the price of an in-house managed EHR. It will also ensure the safety from any security breaches as it will be handled by experts.
Key concerns about EHRs include,
Data security - When records are computerized, extreme diligence is required to protect the data from unauthorized access. Making sure to enable firewalls and other software protocols gives you more flexibility.
Software updates – If the EHR software is purchased from a developer who has not updated it on a regular basis, it can expose the data to malwares and other cyber-attacks.
High capital investment - Not only purchase of new equipment to record and store patient charts but also following efforts taken to transfer all physical charts to electronic form can be cost-intensive. Additionally, training provided on software adds additional expense.
Struggles with unfamiliar technology - When an EHR program is put into practice it detracts patients as well as the doctor or nurse time because of the struggles with unfamiliar equipment. With already crowded offices delayed services is not entertained when technology is not reliable.
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