An electronic health record is a digital medical chart. It has all of the patient’s medical information. An electronic health record has a patient’s immunization record, treatment plan, allergies, medical problems, medications and test results. There are a number of things that you should know if you plan on using electronic health records for your facility.
1- Electronic Health Records Reduce the Chance of Error
Errors put patients’ health at risk. There are a number of ways that errors can result if paper records are used. The healthcare provider’s handwriting may not be legible. It is also easy for digital records to be misplaced. Electronic health records greatly reduce the risk of an error.
The integrated system can also flag drug interactions and other things that can put a patient at risk.
2- Electronic Health Records Improve Patient Care
One of the most common complaints that many patients today have is that they do not have enough time with their healthcare providers. However, electronic health care records can eliminate this problem. Healthcare providers will be able to easily pull up the patients’ records instead of spending several minutes searching for them.
Additionally, electronic health records make it easier for providers to coordinate care. It is common for patients with chronic conditions to see multiple providers. Electronic healthcare records allow providers to see the notes that were written by other providers. This makes things easier for patients and providers. All the clinicians will be involved in the patient’s care, which will ultimately improve patient outcome.
Here is an example of how electronic health records can improve patient care. A patient has been diagnosed with cancer. This patient will require referrals to specialists for follow-up care. The physician can generate one report for the patient and send it to multiple providers. This will allow the patient to get the help that they need more quickly.
Early diagnosis and treatment can also save patients’ lives. Kaiser Permanente, which is based in Oakland, California, decided to start using electronic health records. They did a study to examine the effect that electronic health records had on cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The results of the study showed that the number of days between a cancer diagnosis and surgery was cut in half. Before electronic health records were used, patients had to wait an average 40 days after a cancer diagnosis to get surgery. The patients only waited 16 days after a cancer diagnosis to get surgery after electronic health records were used.
This is important because certain cancers can spread quickly. Before electronic records were used at Kaiser Permanent North Valley, 56.5 percent of patients with lung cancer already had cancer in other parts of their body. In 2014, that number decreased to 7.6 percent.
3- Electronic Health Records Can Help You Save Money
Many people do not want to use electronic health records because of the initial upfront cost. However, you will be able to save a lot of money by using electronic health records. For example, you will be able to save money on transcription costs.
You will also be able to save money on office supplies. You will be able to use less paper. The amount of money that you will be able to save will depend on the number of patients that you see per day. However, if your practice sees 30 patients per day, then you may be able to save $400 to $500 per month on office supplies.
Additionally, you will be able to save money by increasing productivity. You will be able to save time, which will allow you to schedule more appointments. This will allow you to bring in more revenue.