4 Ways Electronic Health Records Improve Patient Care
Electronic health records (EHRs) provide secure, real-time, digital copies of patient charts. They aim to provide the big picture in readily available patient history to authorized users across an entire health network. For instance, EHRs puts health information at the fingertips of all health providers across an organization, which means a patient’s chart can be instantly accessed by every specialist, pharmacy, emergency/hospital, medical lab, medical imaging, health clinics and more involved in a specific patient’s care, as long as permission is granted.
Electronic records typically provide an entire medical history, with dates, on a patient, complete with the following:
- Existing diagnosis
- Any current medications
- Lab test results
The overall aim of EHRs is to offer health care providers complete access to accurate and up-to-date health information so that patients receive the best medical care possible. Electronic health records improve patient care in the following ways:
- Reduce health errors
EHRs improve patient care by preventing and reducing medical errors, allowing health care providers to access records of patient’s current medications (and possible conflicts), life-threatening allergies, existing conditions, and more so emergency providers can identify and adjust care as needed.
- Provide big picture health
EHRs allow health care providers a view of a patient’s health in its entirety to support further diagnosis and treatment decisions. Health care providers can provide test results, make notes, and see all evidence based decisions to prevent any dangerous reactions for the patient.
- Offers liability
From specialists to emergency doctors to EMTs, digital healthcare records ensure health care professionals offer up-to-date and legible health histories and medical consent in case of emergencies and allow individual health care providers to legally document outcomes.
- Improves patient satisfaction
Patients also report greater satisfaction thanks to keeping of electronic health records. For instance, obtaining medications from pharmacists is easier with EHR pharmacy access. This also allows doctors to e-prescribe medications and pharmacists and doctors to collaborate if they should notice a medication conflict or error.