Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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According to a 2021 survey conducted by Black Book Research, around 80% of healthcare providers reported being satisfied with their EHRs. (Black Book Research, 2021). Other surveys have also shown high levels of satisfaction among providers, with results ranging from 70% to 85% (Sources: HIMSS Analytics, 2020; KLAS Research, 2019). Despite the challenges that providers may face with the implementation of EHRs, such as usability issues and increased workload, the majority still report a high level of satisfaction with their positive impact on patient care. (Sources: HIMSS Analytics, 2020; KLAS Research, 2019).

1. EHR implementation is proven to improve patient care

Studies have shown that the implementation of EHRs can have a positive impact on patient care. Some areas of positive impact include:

  1. Improved patient safety: EHR reduces the likelihood of medical errors, such as medication errors and duplicate tests, improving patient safety.

  2. Improved quality of care: They provide real-time access to patient information, allowing for more accurate and timely diagnoses and treatments.

  3. Better patient outcomes: EHRs have been shown to improve patient outcomes, such as increased patient satisfaction and decreased readmission rates.

  4. Increased efficiency: EHRs can streamline processes and reduce administrative burdens, freeing up healthcare providers to focus on patient care.

  5. Enhanced collaboration: EHRs make it easier for healthcare providers to communicate and collaborate, improving patient care.

These statistics highlight the many ways that EHRs can improve patient care and support the growing trend towards digital health.

2. EHR fosters enhanced patient engagement

The majority of patients today are digitally savvy. As baby boomers are replaced by millennials in ambulatory practices, this trend will only increase. EHRs can foster patient engagement in several ways:

  1. Access to personal health information: Patients get access to their own health records, test results, and medication lists, empowering them to be more involved in their own care.

  2. Secure communication with healthcare providers: Patients can communicate with their healthcare providers through secure messaging within EHR, improving communication and fostering engagement.

  3. Better self-management: Tools for self-management, such as appointment scheduling and medication reminders, encouraging patients to take an active role in their own health.

  4. Improved education: Educational resources and health information made available by EHR allows patients to better understand their conditions and treatments.

  5. Improved coordination of care: Healthcare providers find it easy to coordinate care thereby improving patient outcomes and fostering engagement.

3. EHR improves care coordination and decreases fragmentation of care

Care coordination offers significant benefits to patients, providers and payors by improving both clinical and business outcomes. It gives EHRs the potential to integrate and organize patient health information and facilitate its instant distribution among all authorized providers involved in a patient's care. EHRs can decrease the fragmentation of care by improving care coordination as every provider can have the same accurate and up-to-date information about a patient.

  1. Better availability of patient information can reduce medical errors and unnecessary tests.
  2. Better availability of information can also reduce the chance that one specialist will not know about an unrelated (but relevant) condition being managed by another specialist.
  3. Better care coordination can lead to better quality of care and improved patient outcomes.

4. EHRs improve diagnostics and patient outcomes

Errors are reduced with an EHR. One simple benefit of an EMR is that patient notes become more legible. Patient care can also improve when real-time record keeping is introduced in an ambulatory setting. This will positively affect quality scores, and ultimately, reimbursement.

Communication about treatment details between all the disparate points of the healthcare delivery system is always improved with an EHR. Tracking treatment from multiple providers across disparate systems is more efficient thereby improving diagnostics and patient outcomes. Just as importantly, patient communication will be improved, along with their participation via interactive portals when they can access treatment details or healthcare instructions. These communication hubs can help with population health initiatives like improving proactive education for diabetic patients.

5. EHRs are proven to increase practice efficiencies resulting in cost savings.

In addition to reducing claims denial, EHRs provide a faster way to communicate test results, less paperwork, and even meaningful use financial incentives to help providers explore the benefits of EMR. It’s safe to say that most physicians’ today struggle under this added burden of reporting, both for compliance as well as reimbursement.

6. Increased control of personal health information

PHI can easily be transmitted between providers without hand-copying files and carrying records to and from each specialist they visit. EHR interoperability allows data to flow between providers seamlessly.

7. Improved Efficiency

The efficiency of healthcare delivery can be improved by EHRs, as administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing prescriptions, and processing insurance claims are reduced. This can lead to a reduction in wait times and an improvement in the overall patient experience.

8. More Accurate Diagnoses

A complete and up-to-date record of a patient's medical history provided by EHRs can help healthcare providers make more accurate diagnoses, allowing for the identification of patterns and trends in a patient's health and more informed decisions about their care. For example, potential underlying causes of a patient's symptoms can be identified and more effective treatment plans can be developed by healthcare providers with the assistance of EHRs, especially when the patient has a complex medical history.

9. Reduction in unnecessary testing

When physicians do not have access to prior data, they often repeat testing, which is a huge waste of time and money. This is especially important if the test is invasive, causing unnecessary discomfort for the patient.

11. Faster prescribing

e-prescribing, has completely eliminated the time spent calling in an RX. While patients streamlined communications between their physician office and the pharmacy, they don’t realize that electronic prescriptions also have the potential to save lives. There is an old joke that a physician has the worst handwriting in the world. However, that scratchy penmanship has been the cause of prescription mistakes between the provider and the pharmacist. An EHR can eliminate this potential risk.



Topics: EHR System, Provider/Physician, Consultant, Practice Manager

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