By now, most healthcare practices have made the move to electronic health records (EHRs). While some EHRs can be confusing and difficult to work with, mastering their capabilities can lead to a more efficient practice with better patient outcomes.
EHRs are not just digital versions of paper charts—they have a lot more features to help healthcare providers in different areas in addition to improving patient health, including:
• Achieving compliance and regulatory requirements
• Providing easy access to information
• Reducing costs
• Streamlining workflow
Basic EHR capabilities
EHRs are meant to add convenience and automate important, time-consuming tasks like charting. However, the best EHRs will go beyond that to aid in clinical decision making.
EHRs are already making a difference using large data sets. Algorithms derived from EHR data have been used to predict risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and sepsis onset. The right EHR can boost your patient outcomes and practice revenue by:
• Aiding in more accurate clinical decision making
• Allowing for greater care team collaboration, which leads to better care
• Helping predict disease risk in patients and providing a treatment roadmap
• Increasing patient engagement and helping turn the patient into a partner in their own care
• Providing a comprehensive view of patient health
• Reducing errors and increasing patient safety
Access and Convenience
Technological advancement has made around-the-clock access of patient data to healthcare providers a reality. No more poring through pages upon pages of hand-scribbled visit notes. EHRs provide a complete view of each patient in a comprehensive and 360-degree picture.
This convenience goes beyond time-saving measures. An EHR does not only record and store data for accessibility—through the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence, it can compute the risk of certain conditions and enable healthcare providers to reduce or prevent medical errors. The goal is patient safety and improved patient health outcomes.
EHRs can connect members of a treatment team like never before. Healthcare providers with access to complete and accurate patient information are better able to provide appropriate medical care to their patients, which leads to improvement in patients’ conditions.
This access to data also provides support for diagnosis and treatment decisions. Interoperability is key here. Patient data collected by one provider helps another provider to understand a patient’s health condition and make informed decisions. This can help unify a team of diverse specialists and ensure they’re all on the same page and working toward the same goals when it comes to patient care.
Educated patients, including their family members and representatives, are vigilant and ready to participate with healthcare providers and care teams to manage their health conditions. EHR-based patient portals provide a platform for patients to engage with their healthcare providers. They can share information with their entire team, including primary care providers, specialists and referring providers. EHR can also act as a communication and collaboration tool for healthcare providers, care teams, patients and external parties to exchange patient data.
It is time to leverage EHR to use at its fullest capabilities and achieve true goal of healthcare: improving patient health outcomes with better quality care.