The transition from paper-based documents to electronic health records (EHR) has revolutionized the medical industry. Scientists and researchers have acquired more medical knowledge; more treatment options are available, thus increasing life expectancy and the knowledge about chronic conditions.
This entails more patient records that healthcare organizations must manage, thus the need for EHR. To better address patients’ needs, healthcare organizations must use reliable tools to store and access protected health information (PHI). Here’s how storing PHI can improve your practice’s efficiency.
Preventing adverse effects
One of the major concerns of medical practitioners is determining the adverse effects of treatments and their negative interactions with other medications. These adverse effects can be prevented if healthcare professionals have access to drug contraindications, patients’ medical history, and pharmaceutical information. To do this, hospitals should have decision-making tools built into EHR systems.
With EHR tools, doctors can make faster decisions when prescribing or administering medications. Note that a drug that’s administered a few seconds late can cost someone his life.
EHR tools make sharing of patient’s chart easier in case a general practitioner needs to refer a patient to a specialist or other colleagues. This will ensure that everyone has all the information necessary to diagnose, treat, and care for the patient.
Providing holistic treatment for the patient
There are always several angles to consider when caring for a patient. That’s why physicians ask all those questions, from family histories to list of medications to mental health issues to even religion, before treating a patient.
Treatment may be delayed if physicians rely on the traditional method of patient examination, which typically involves asking a patient a few questions and referring to outdated medical charts. With EHR, however, doctors can access and browse through a comprehensive PHI using any internet-connected device.
Managing preventable diseases
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Having EHR technology can help in identifying patients who haven’t undergone vital screening tests. These tests are helpful in revealing signs of risk for developing chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and many more. Medical practitioners know it’s important to diagnose these progressive diseases early on because late detection of such diseases often results in poor chances of recovery.
Improving research and clinical processes
Even with all the medical technology available today, healthcare practices and patients alike should note that healthcare doesn’t stop at the hospital. The data that doctors, nurses, and other professionals acquire in hospitals are being used for further education on and, research and development of better drugs. Having all the data available in digital form will allow scientists and drug developers to search for population groups, possible drug trial participants, or to monitor a patient’s disease progression for a case study.
And in the long run, better understanding of diseases and refinement of treatment methods will improve healthcare.
Better patient engagement and compliance
Patients nowadays are more intuitive and want to be more involved in their treatments. This is why some patients ask follow-up questions after a consultation — questions that are easier to answer if they can readily and conveniently access their medical data.
For instance, if patients have an e-copy of their PHI, they can notice errors in their data and notify their physicians about these immediately. But with a large number of patients being treated, healthcare personnel are bound to slip from time to time. However, when patients are well-informed and involved in their treatment regimen, there's a greater chance of mitigating errors immediately while improving compliance of patients and treatment success.
Is your healthcare organization ready to switch to EHR? Contact Netcom Solutions now. Our expert assistance will make your digital journey hassle-free.
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