EHR: The Cover-All Solution to Health Record Storage and Maintenance
Like electronic medical records (EMR), emergency health records (EHR) are becoming very popular throughout the medical world. With similar advantages, these digital solutions in healthcare have brought about changes to operations, efficiency, and the way important patient data is handled.
Though these two systems are related, EHR plays a more advanced role in the storing, sharing, and organizing of patient information over a variety of networks. Instead of focusing on information within a certain practice specifically under the supervision of a specialist – like history of illness, records on surgeries and medications – EHR also focuses on medical information outside of a particular hospital or practice, and offers a comprehensive patient record that spans the history of treatments and diagnoses. With EHR, patients have the ability to share their medical information with all of the physicians and specialists that they deal with over a lifetime, across multiple healthcare institutions, so that all those involved in a patient’s care (and the patient) can have access to the information they need without any hassle.
Learn more about EHR here:
Is Your Organization Ready for EHR?
5 Keys to EHR Training
Beware of “Overnight” EHR Implementations
EHRs Installed at 75% of Large Offices
Deadline Extended for Stage 2 Meaningful Use Requirements
Benefits of EHR
Without the use of EHR, patient records are created for every individual procedure or at each new medical appointment. For instance, a patient may have a record at their general practitioner’s office, at their pharmacy, and at each of their specialists’ offices for radiology and cardiology. At each initial consultation, the patient would have to fill out extensive paperwork detailing medical history, medications, surgeries, etc., because this general information is not fully integrated between the offices. As such, there are four separate and independent records floating around, each with its own set of identification numbers, vocabulary and methods of information storage. Having information transferred from clinic to clinic is often time-consuming and is a lengthy process, and almost always postpones patient care.
If EHR were put into use, this patient could have all of their information available for use at each of the four medical offices, and it would all be stored in one electronic location, using only one identification number and with common language throughout. With EHR, medical information can be viewed and updated in real-time by all participating doctors and specialists, and care can be given to the patient in a timely manner. No more filling out extensive paperwork for each appointment, no more waiting around for file transfers, no more confusion about physician language. EHR software gives the healthcare industry a concise method of storing and maintaining all patient information.
Buying an EHR System
Purchasing EHR software is an investment, so any healthcare organization would be wise to do some quality research into the system’s operation, performance, specifications, and current customer reviews before making a purchase decision. Many EHR companies today will allow a “test run”, where organizations can use their product for a specified number of days free of charge to see if it works in their office environment. Taking advantage of this hands-on approach is one of the best ways to fully assess a product’s performance and ease of use in a particular setting.
Training, installation, and updates will also be a factor in many buying decisions, and it is also a good idea to look first to the vendor company for services provided. Some companies provide a team to install and upgrade the system, as well as to train employees to use it, while others purely provide the hardware and software that is needed to run the EHR system.
The use of EHR systems continues to grow and spread across the globe as more and more healthcare providers see its results and benefits in their practice. Check back here on HealthcareTechReview.com often for more news, updates, and reviews on all things EHR.