Computers and information technology have become an integral part of the modern medical system and these have made delivering effective healthcare easier for the healthcare practices thereby increasing the number of beneficiary patients. Electronic health records (EHRs) are also a part of this information technology spectrum in the healthcare industry and have facilitated effective storage and management of the enormous volume of data generated by various healthcare facilities including clinics and hospitals.
Efficiently managed EHR systems save the precious time and money resources of the facilities and help them communicate efficiently among the various parties in healthcare such as hospitals, referring physicians, and insurers. However, there are yet many facilities that are using generic software to store and manage critical patient data not realizing the benefits of authentic EHR solutions that are tailored to the medical staff and facility needs. Here are some significant aspects healthcare providers should understand before investing and installing an EHR system.
- Financial benefits: To demonstrate ‘meaningful use’ and avail of the financial incentives offered by the government, choose a certified EHR system.
- Time-saving benefits: Electronic health records come with the advantage of pre-designed templates that promote and ensure the input of accurate patient information. This is time-saving for both general practice and specialty practice encounters as employees working with the system know what and where information has to be input and the procedure is performed seamlessly.
- Access benefits: Another excellent way to save time and promote patient engagement is to introduce the patient portal in the EHR system that lets the patients to key in their information by themselves. This can be done from anywhere reducing the need for entering redundant data by the employees. Moreover, the patient portals can be really helpful in crises when the patient is unable to visit the facility or needs to pull past information. Electronic health records have been tremendously helpful in the COVID-19 pandemic crisis where patients could fill their information from the comfort of their homes instead of spending time in fear at the facilities’ waiting rooms.
However, along with the benefits come some issues that need to be addressed to implement EHR solutions effectively. The issues that need facilities’ focus are safety and timely updates of the software. With the benefits of technology come the issues of safety and security. Safety plays a critical role in EHRs because they deal with the storage and management of sensitive patient information that needs to be safeguarded with extreme diligence of the IT department of the facility and the EHR services providers. The patient information has to be protected from outsiders, especially criminal hackers with excellent security standards and tools. Another critical aspect is about ensuring regular updates of the software and following industry best practices. This is important to stay updated with the latest technological advancements and trends other healthcare practices are implementing and simultaneously benefit from such updates.
Considering all these aspects, healthcare facilities must employ the best EHR solutions providers for their EHRs.