To meet the “meaningful use” requirements it has become necessary for healthcare organizations to implement electronic health records (EHRs) that are the digital records of health information of patients. The EHRs contain all the information that’s available in paper charts including medical history, diagnoses, medications, vital signs, info on allergies, and laboratory reports. The electronic health records may even have information regarding patient’s insurance details, demographic data, and any other relevant data.
Healthcare organizations should invest in EHR systems not just to meet the meaningful use requirements but to benefit from them immensely. The EHRs give power to all the people who provide healthcare with the vast data they contain and the fact that this data can be shared among various healthcare providers who have authorized access. The people with whom EHRs can be shared are clinicians, specialists, authorized people in labs, pharmacies, imaging facilities, and school and workplace clinics. Let’s see the benefits of implementing EHR solutions in a facility.
Reduction in paperwork: Administrative work in a healthcare organization with respect to documentation of health records takes a considerable amount of time and money which can be reduced with the introduction of EHR solutions that reduce paperwork and storage space required to safeguard those files. EHRs facilitate instant storage and retrieval of vast data that reduce paperwork and the resultant clutter.
Improved Care Quality: The best advantage of EHRs is that the critical patient information is available to the authorized person at fingertips that helps in providing quality care to patients without any delay in real time. Also, another important aspect of EHR systems is that the errors related to wrong dosage or wrong medications due to illegible writing are eliminated as the prescriptions are entered in the EHRs which are accessible to the pharmacists as well.
Financial incentives: Although implementing EHRs is an expensive affair, it is worth it as the healthcare facilities that are eligible providers and implement EHRs get financial incentives to recover their expenses through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.
EHRs are not just beneficial to the health care providers but they are beneficial to the patients as well. The streamlined access to a patient’s records eliminates the need to fill in the same demographic and other information at each physician’s office. Also, the patients need not go through the same tests or imaging procedures when they visit different physicians or specialists as they have all their reports consolidated in their EHRs.