As some of you know, my day job consists of developing software for medical institutions and public hospitals. These hospitals are essential when it comes to our healthcare. We put all of our trust in doctors and nurses to help us if we just encountered an accident, to deliver our babies safely, and do their best to treat diseases. Think of all of the efforts that must go into keeping a hospital up and running.
Challenges are faced on a daily basis; patient safety, quality and satisfaction, personnel shortages, access to care, financial challenges, and technology are among the issues hospital management faces. There is so much going on behind the scenes that don’t even cross many patients’ minds. EHR/EMR has been developed to help hospitals overcome many of their challenges and make life easier for patients and practitioners.
EHR/EMR (electronic health records/electronic medical records) include patient medical history. Every time they see their doctor or go to the hospital, that EHR/EMR in that specific provider’s database is updated. Information such as demographics, progress notes, medications, past issue, and immunizations are included. There are several benefits to the usage of EHR/EMR:
Improving patient quality of care
Computerized physician reminders have helped increase vaccination rates and commitment to medical routines. The doctors don’t have to worry about remembering important dates or going through their notes to check; they have electronic reminders that will save them time, give them the exact information that they need, and improve the patient’s quality of care significantly.
Avoid wasted resources
First and foremost, the use of EHR/EMR reduces the need of constant and repetitive testing which can be very pricey. So much testing has even led to false positives which incur even more costs when a patient needs to be tested again. With EHR/EMR, results can be shared among various practices and practitioners to avoid excess tests and costs.
These electronic records reduce operational costs, improve patient visits/attendance, can track revenue, and correct billing mistakes. They also reduce malpractice claims. A practice can run much more efficiently with the use of EHR/EMR.
Avoid medical error and patient injuries
EHR/EMR have clinical decision support which helps a health care provider make important patient decisions. Also available are computerized physician order entry systems errors which enable providers to enter orders electronically. Using these systems reduces the amount of medical or medication errors by a significant amount.
EHR/EMR that have electronic prescribing gives patients better access to prescriptions and medications. Paper prescriptions, which are often lost or misread leading to re-testing, are no longer needed. This also lowers costs for both doctors and pharmacies.
With the use of EHR/EMR, there is a significant decline in time spent looking for information or documents. They include charts and records and give practitioners a simple way to communicate with their patients. Data is more reliable and complete, and readily available 24/7 with easy access from anywhere in the world. Practitioners can remain on a phone call with a patient while easily opening said patient’s files.
Satisfied health care providers
Health Care Providers who use EHR/EMR can see the same number of patients as those who don’t use EHR/EMR in less amount of time. They can gain more personal time; since they are available at home, these electronic records allow providers to go home early and spend more time with their family, then continue to work later on (from home) if need be.
Automated reminders can be sent to patients which then reduces no-shows, increases patient visits, and creates more revenue. The effects of email reminders are significant. As stated earlier, practitioners are also able to take more personal time instead of increasing the number of patient visits if they so choose.
Reduced operating costs
Many of the savings are a result of ridding the need of paper-driven tasks. Test results can be kept electronically; there is less need of staff resources for patient management. Supply costs for paper file maintenance are significantly reduced (there is no need to mail hard copies of test results to different providers). Charts, etc., can be stored electronically disintegrating the need for pulling, storage and refilling.
Taking care of business (and billing)
EHR/EMR mean less billing errors and easier following of patient charges. Immediate billing results in less tracking of outstanding accounts receivable.
Lower chance of lawsuits
By refining data security and patient confidentiality, legal and regulatory agreements may be facilitated. EHR/EMR advance risk management. They can give clinical reminders, improve communication of patient information, help make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions, help prevent prescriptions that may end in unfavorable situations, monitor medical quality improvements, provide detailed records, and show indications that imply informed consent.
Though it can be very challenging to manage a hospital, EHR/EMR have improved health care significantly. They are a substantial reason for better quality patient care and practitioner satisfaction. Health care is something that we should consistently be looking to improve, and EHR/EMR do just that.