Understanding Digital Health Records in Modern Healthcare
Health records are an important aspect of healthcare. Healthcare providers have been maintaining and consulting health records ever since formalized healthcare emerged. Health records don’t just help doctors and nurses in offering appropriate treatment. They can help healthcare organizations identify trends, successful treatments, and medical side effects. All of this information improves the healthcare sector on a macro level. Policymakers can use it to standardize medical procedures and quality. Pharmaceutical manufacturers can use it to understand the efficacy of the medication they produce. Hospitals and other healthcare services can use it to improve internal processes and controls. Electronic or digital health records are the modern version of recording patient information. Read on to learn more about it and its importance in healthcare.
What are Electronic Health Records?
The United States has one of the best internet penetration rates in the world. You probably already have access to services like Spectrum internet at your home. What we often fail to realize is that the internet is much more than a means of entertainment, socializing, or learning. The original reason the internet was created was to be a communication network in case of nuclear war. Today it has expanded beyond what anyone at the time could have imagined. But it still serves primarily as a method of communication between billions of connected devices and organizations all over the world, including in healthcare.
Electronic health records are a derivative of the internet. Essentially it is information relating to a patient’s medical history, treatment, medication, allergies, and other important information. In digital form, these records can be accessed, analyzed, and shared between stakeholders. Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, and even governments make use of information derived from electronic health records. This helps improve the quality of healthcare on several important levels.
What do EHRs Contain?
Think of your electronic health record as the digital equivalent of your patient chart. It contains all relevant medical information that can be shared instantly with authorized users. This increases a healthcare organization’s ability to deliver healthcare accurately and flexibly. Most EHRs contain a mix of standard medical and treatment information on a patient. But they can also be adapted to gather broader data about patient healthcare and wellbeing. Healthcare information systems using HER form one of the most important parts of modern digitized healthcare. Electronic health records serve as a real-time record of things that can include:
- Medical history.
- Diagnosis info.
- X-rays and scans.
- Known allergies.
- Lab reports.
But the most important things an EHR system offers are:
- Ability to access reliable real-time health records for improved patient care decisions.
- Automating, integrating, and streamlining different aspects of the healthcare process.
What are the Benefits of Using EHRs?
The digital wave has proven to be an unprecedented transformation. When you stop to consider it, there is hardly any aspect of our lives where digital technology doesn’t play a part. From socializing to working to learning to entertainment to shopping. Digital technology is everywhere. So it shouldn’t really surprise you that the healthcare sector has been going digital for a while now. Generally speaking, digital systems have proven to be an effective way to increase the flow of information as well as streamlining it.
Health IT systems such as EHRs are no different. They offer a seamless transfer of important information to all stakeholders involved in the healthcare process. For example, take patient transparency. Patients often have unrealistic expectations because of incorrect assumptions. Self-diagnosing problems based on something you read online or saw on Spectrum Tv isn’t unheard of. The increased transparency can help patients access their records and get a better idea of the outcome.
Thanks to HER systems, this information can be delivered instantly and allows frontline personnel to make better patient care decisions. This is perhaps the most obvious advantage. But it is by no means the only one. Other benefits of EHR to the healthcare system include:
- Increased patient engagement and participation.
- Better coordination of various patient care measures.
- More accurate diagnostics and reliably predicting outcomes.
- Identify inefficiencies in the healthcare process.
- Allowing key healthcare stakeholders to improve their processes.