The Electronic health record (EHR) has proven to be a very efficient way to transfer patient files from the paper format to the computer. EHRs are about more than just storing and collecting patient data. They have evolved to include more than that.
The information technology that is used in many medical facilities across the United States has become an essential tool for health professionals. Electronic health records are now more than just a way to store data. They’re also a tool that helps doctors and other healthcare providers share data with colleagues, patients, and specialists. Some software provides insights to help doctors make better clinical decisions by providing a more comprehensive picture of patient health and treatment options.
Meaningful patient data in electronic medical records software contributes to positive public health outcomes. According to a HealthIT.gov Report, 75 % of providers believe their electronic health record software allows them to provide better patient care. Additionally, 88% of respondents said that their EHR helped them achieve clinical advantages for the practice.
Doctors and clinics can better treat patients by using technology to provide insights into their medical histories and multiple data files. These valuable and readily accessible data simplify time-consuming processes and help to make clinical decisions easier.
The more secure medical professionals’ access to vital patient information, the better their chances are to treat patients properly and on time. You will learn four ways electronic health records can help doctors with their work and, most importantly, improve patient care.
Four ways EHRs improve patient care
Electronic health records, once viewed as a simple data input machine that transferred paper to a computer and now known as ‘the cloud’, are increasingly placing patients at the heart of their own healthcare. These platforms have been upgraded to include robust capabilities that allow them to analyze information from patient files, communicate with other specialists and providers, and provide secure sharing.
EHRs today offer a number of tools that can help physicians improve patient care and streamline their workflow. Here are some ways EHRs have improved patient care over time.
Better Patient Engagement
Electronic Health Record Software is an important tool for bridging the gap between patient and provider. They are integrated with tools that not only assist practices and staff, but also improve patient satisfaction.
Patients can schedule appointments online, for instance, using integrated patient portals. It not only reduces the workload of staff, but also frees up phone lines. Patients can book appointments with their providers in a quick and easy way. These technological methods of scheduling appointments are often accompanied by automated confirmations and reminding, which reduces the administrative burden on practice staff. scheduling systems can also help reduce waiting times for patients in the office. This results in a better experience from the time they book an appointment until they arrive to see their doctor.
The ease of information exchange is another form of engagement which plays a significant role in patient satisfaction. Providers make a mistake when they bombard patients with information during a visit. The ability to share important documents through a portal allows patients to read them at their convenience. Sending e-prescriptions can also improve patient satisfaction, as patients are able to get to their favorite pharmacy whenever they need it.
The better a patient’s understanding of their health journey, and the more educated they are on it, the greater their chance to comply with the provider’s recommendations. The more you keep patients informed and make the process as easy as possible bureaucratically, the better they will be engaged.
Focus on Prevention
EHRs have evolved into a powerful management tool for preventable diseases. Doctors can keep track of the health of their patients by identifying those who still need to have important screenings.
Through their EHR they can email automated templates to patients inciting them to schedule appointments for mammograms and colonoscopies. These preventive measures help detect early symptoms of deadly diseases like breast cancer, colon carcinoma, kidney disease and glaucoma.
Software for electronic health records provides providers with the tools to identify risks and behaviors of patients, thereby contributing positively to preventive healthcare. Reminders about important screenings that patients may not have considered on their own help them educate themselves and manage potential health risks. Early detection of a health problem can prevent further problems and save lives. Value-based care allows doctors to focus on patients instead of numbers. This improves quality and outcome of treatment.
Medical professionals can save lives by having all the information about a patient at one location. A patient’s medical history, no matter how complex, can be stored, viewed and combined with other documents on one platform. It helps healthcare providers make informed choices that consider all aspects of the patient’s health.
These comprehensive files show a patient’s treatment plan, including family history and financial status, giving providers a clearer picture. Mental state, lifestyle, risk factors and health conditions are also critical. They simplify workflows and aid in making good clinical decisions.
The central patient information includes tools for decision support. Providers will be better informed and able to prescribe medications faster in cases where patients have allergies or adverse interactions with food or medications. Having this information and tools available helps to prevent adverse events, and improves the outcomes of patients.
Multiple providers can also access the same information with electronic health records. Patients see multiple doctors, from their primary doctor to specialists such as dermatologists or cardiologists. Securely sharing patients’ files with their doctors allows everyone to see a complete picture of their history, rather than fragmented. To treat a patient properly, all members of the patient’s circle of care should have access to their information.
Electronic health records are more efficient and cost-effective on the clinical side. Care coordination enabled by this technology allows for efficient and accurate patient visit, simplifies documentation, eliminates duplicate testing, and keeps track of billing and patient insurance.
Patients’ Outcomes Improved
In the emergency room, hospital, clinic or other healthcare facilities, physicians are not the only ones who interact with patients. Their conversations with various staff members can result in the repetition of information or the omission of specific details. Data fragmentation and misinterpretations can result when the data is not recorded and made available to all staff.
Software that stores and tracks patient health information electronically can be implemented in clinics to allow administrative staff members to monitor, collect, record, and store data virtually anywhere. All providers, including doctors, nurses, technicians, and others, have an overview of all encounters the patient has had. It allows for better access to data on healthcare, improved care coordination, and ultimately, improved patient outcomes.
EHRs provide a central repository for patient data, and tools to analyze and support decision-making. This allows healthcare trends in patients to be identified. The EHRs provide a central repository of patient data and tools that help analyze and support decision-making. This allows healthcare providers to identify trends in the care they deliver.
Empowering patients through patient portals
No one can argue that the patient should be at center stage of their care. Patients who only have a partial picture of their health plan may be discouraged from participating in their healthcare journey.
Patient portals that are part of electronic health records act as an extension to a patient’s medical records, giving them access to vital data. They provide patients a way to:
- View important documents
- Online access to your health record
- Visit notes and labs
- Book your appointments
- Renewal of prescriptions
- Secure messages for your doctor
Patient portals are a great way to strengthen patient and provider relationships. They also establish a vital communication link. Patients who are better informed about their health will be more likely to ask relevant follow-up questions and inform staff of any incorrect or missing information in their file.
When patients are well-informed, have easy access to resources, and can book an appointment and visit their doctor easily, they will be more likely to take a proactive role in their own health. Patients who feel empowered are more likely to take responsibility for their own health and manage it. This has a positive impact on outcomes.
Patients who feel empowered are more likely to take responsibility for their own health and manage it. This has a positive impact on the outcome.
EHRs offer physicians more opportunities.
Electronic health record software integrated with medical credentialing services is a powerful tool for physicians and other medical professionals. It helps them make better clinical decisions by giving a more complete picture of the patient’s health.
EHRs allow physicians to improve their patient care through tools for health management, clinical quality control and practice efficiency. They also offer data analytics, patient engagement and a better patient experience.
These robust tools can help physicians by checking for allergies or issues when prescribing new medications, they can reveal potential patient safety issues and even help providers systematically identify operational problems through alerts and notifications. They help improve risk management and prevent liability actions.
Modern technology systems are more connected and easier to use. They reduce errors, empower the patients, improve outcomes, and increase overall patient safety.
Nathan Bradshaw is a Senior Health IT Journalist, Researcher & Writer. With 15 years of Health reform, IT consulting, emerging technology assessment, quality programs, governance, compliance and information security experience, he is your go-to person for leveraging technology to gain competitive advantage. You can connect with Nathan at email@example.com