Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 05/17/16

How EHR is Beneficial to Both Doctor and Patient

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An electronic health record (EHR) is the medical history of patients turned digital. It includes important data imperative to providing healthcare services like demographics, medications, medical history, immunizations, laboratory results, allergies and more. There's mobile healthcare which EHR software companies use as well. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) founded the Meaningful Use program which promotes the use of EHR in order to provide quality healthcare services.

What makes EHR so beneficial, so much so that there's even an incentive-based program to promote its use?

According to a national survey of Meaningful Use ready doctors, thanks to EHR they are able to provide better health care and their practices reap clinical benefits as well.

The most important benefit of using EHR is naturally improved healthcare services. The ease at which the medical records can be accessed by the healthcare provider anywhere makes for care that is not just efficient but coordinated as well. This, along with the clinical alerts and reminders, aid in decision making, especially in critical circumstances when a speedy but appropriate response is needed.

Software of this kind have built-in filters for potential adverse events. It automatically checks if a prescribed drug can cause allergies or react negatively to existing medications. The same goes during emergencies when the patient is unconscious and can't report existing medical conditions or allergies, which doctors take into consideration before proceeding with treatment. EHR also helps physicians in making detailed reports which will ultimately lead to prescription safety and reliability. Add that to the fact that the EHR is coordinated with registries and other EHR software, too. Laboratory results are also received faster.

It also helps doctors when it comes to coding and billing since documentation is complete and legible, unlike paper charts that are sometimes indecipherable. Filing insurance claims isn't so much of a hassle anymore as well. This means better office workflow and productivity so physicians can save on staffing.

 From the patient's side, aside from the better healthcare and outcome that physicians can provide, EHR is beneficial because they don't have to fill out forms that they've filled out before every time they come to the clinic. They also don't have to worry about their medical records if they have to move houses because EHR makes it possible for their records to move with them. Another benefit of EHR is e-prescribing that helps patients get their prescribed medication faster and easier. Plus, doctors can immediately see which insurance covered medication is available for prescription to allow patients to save on medicinal expenses.

A Patient Portal is another great feature of EHR as it allows for convenient doctor to patient communication. Managing appointment schedules and sending e-mail messages has never been easier. Better communication also allows for symptoms to be identified earlier before they worsen. To summarize, electronic health records minimize errors and adverse events. Doctors are able to provide their services easier, document diagnoses and coordinate with other doctors. More importantly, patients are safer at the hands of their healthcare services providers and treatment outcomes are improved.

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