Advantages of EHR or 11 Reasons Why Your Hospital Need an EMR
The Global Electronic Health Records (EHR) Market was valued at $23,592 million in 2016. And is expected to reach $33,294 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 5.0% in 2017-2023. An Electronic Health Record, aka Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is a digital version of the paper chart of a patient.
Yet, it is not merely replacing paper with digital documentation, but a lot more. In digital form, patient data becomes eligible for storage, maintenance, and sharing electronically. And so, it brings a lot of benefits of EHR, that we will discuss next.
Why is EHR so important in Healthcare?
The benefits of electronic health records are aplenty! And so are the limitations of not having an EHR in place. Here are top insights that will throw light on why EHR is so beneficial for your services if you own or are a part of the healthcare service sector.
Paper records have their limitations!
As much as the world complains about unreadable doctor’s handwriting, the same goes for handwritten office notes. While practitioners follow a template and format, there is no guarantee that all the staff will have readable handwriting. Other limitations include:
- The paper notes, even with good handwriting, cannot be shared electronically and will have to be manually transferred.
- The data in your paper records make it easy to compute or analyze.
- The inability to store or find data quickly.
- The fear of losing precious data to theft, fires, or similar circumstances.
- Ease of destroying valuable medical records.
Another reason that highlights the advantages of EHR is the drop in visit frequency. And an increase in outpatient satisfaction. Often, when a patient arrives for an appointment, one or the other report is either missing or unavailable. As a result, they have to visit again, adding to the burden of their ill-health. This is the main benefit of electronic health records, that they save time.
Here’s an interesting note from the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee. It states that 20% of laboratory tests are reordered because previous reports become unavailable. Check the table below that lists visit frequencies and patient satisfaction with service quality.
|Missing Reports||Percentage of Visits|
Thus with the EHR system, patient visits will not go futile. If hospitals install EMR, they can benefit from higher customer visits and better satisfaction among them. Besides, EHR benefits include faster retrieval of all kinds of health reports on a few clicks or taps. But that’s not all. There are many more advantages that EHR has on offer.
Advantages of EHR
There are several benefits of electronic health records. To make it easy to understand, these have been cut from caregivers’ and receivers.
Advantages of EHR for Nurses
Here is how the nurses can fetch the benefits of an EMR.
|Easy Follow-Ups||When the entire patient data is stored at one place digitally, tracking patients becomes easy for nurses. And the same goes for reminding patients for their next treatment date, or the course of their medications. |
Thus, such benefits of EHR, which allow nurses to put more time into caregiving than sort papers, is noteworthy.
View the best telemedicine apps 2020, for getting an idea of what you must look for in your EHR.
|Ease in Tracking Patient Details||Nurses have a tough time organizing patient data, especially when they are under multiple doctors. And there are genuinely loads of things to keep a tab, including allergies, blood groups, past treatments, and more. |
Thus, the ease of managing all that data, on a single device, is one of the best EHR advantages.
Besides, the records stay available and up to date round the clock and irrespective of distant locations.
|Faster Patient Transfers||When transferring a patient from one department to another, nurses are well aware of the time and movement constraints. |
For instance, moving patients from a standard room to an emergency needs to be quick and sometimes within minutes. In such cases, minutes lost could mean a life lost.
With EHR, all the nurses have to do is a few taps on the screen to get the benefits. And the data gets to the required hands in seconds. Isn’t that amazing!
Advantages of EHR for Patients
The many benefits of EHR are not just limited to the caregivers, but patients as well. Check these out!
|Less Prone to Errors||Electronic Health Records are prone to fewer errors than manual records and more benefits. |
Since these are computer-generated details of medical records, there are little chances of a misread. Not to mention they are completely legible and immune to a prescriber’s poor handwriting.
And that’s one of the critical EMR benefits that many yearn to have.
|No Miscommunication||Another Electronic Health Records’ benefits are the option to share their medical history remotely. Besides, it allows healthcare professionals to check complete medical history at once. And vice versa. |
Gradually, thanks to such detailed access, an in-depth evaluation of the records became possible. This further enables the doctors to chart the best course of medicines.
Additionally, when patients switch doctors, there is no scope of losing access to medical history.
|Beneficial in Emergencies||There could be situations where patients cannot carry their medical records. Or perhaps emergencies like road accidents, sudden cardiac arrests, and natural disasters, where patients cannot provide medical details. |
In such cases, electronic health records can be critical life-saving info for emergency care providers. And this is possibly one of the most important benefits of EHR.
|Ease of tracking data thefts or manipulations||A patient will always have his EHR to back as evidence if he suffers from misdiagnosing or wrong medication. In case any fraudulent entity tries to destroy the electronic records, it is firstly impossible to do so without permission. |
If, say, someone succeeds in destroying the data, it is easy to trace through their IP and other cyber mechanisms. And the culprit will be caught in no time. Hence a great advantage of EHR.
Is EHR beneficial for medical practice?
Yes, of course! Medical practice is not all about treating the patients and prescribing medicines. They are also responsible for storing tracking and handling bundles of files, be it physically or digitally. So they also get many benefits of electronic health records, which help them manage their work as well as patients. Here are a few.
|Less Paperwork and Fewer Storage Issues||Medical practitioners and staff spend a lot of their work time on handling and processing forms, reports, and fill outs. The lone fact that electronic health records are paperless accounts for one of the best benefits. |
Besides, it lets them keep their workday streamlines with all the information they need in their palm.
Additionally, they do not have to scroll through or maintain hundreds of records manually.
|Better Efficiency and Time Management||The EMR benefits are not limited to storing and accessing the data from anywhere, anytime. Most EMRs also have beneficial features like chart management, searching records using simple queries, instead of recalling their names. |
With capabilities like these, medical practices can save precious time, and serve more patients in need of medical care. And also make quick medical treatment or procedural decisions.
|Financial Incentives||Switching to EHR requires training existing staff or hiring a new one. So one might be curious about how medical practices may cope with the transition from their current system to EHRs. |
Fortunately, many financial incentives are available for the healthcare industry to deal with such changes. For instance, CMS offers Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for healthcare industries to upgrade to certified EHR technologies.
Thus such financial incentives encourage hospitals to improve their services by gaining benefits of EHR.
|Streamlined Administrative Abilities||Even the administrative staff in medical practices can have a sigh of relief with the EHR in place. From all the clinical records to keeping a tab on what’s up with a patient, their processes will be streamlined. |
EMR benefits them by giving time to improve the quality and outcomes of their healthcare services, rather than mundane paperwork.
How to choose EHR software?
Now that you read through the many benefits of electronic health records, it’s time we discuss how to choose them. This is important because only successfully implementing and adapting to an EHR will allow the achievement of its benefits. So before you decide to adopt an EHR, you must be clearly aware of the benefits and requirements.
Most importantly, EHR must be in coherence with HIPAA Compliance in all of its features. For instance, it must have HIPAA compliant chat apps for Patient-Physician or Physician-Physician communication. This will ensure higher safety of patient details, which may or may not be possible in typical chat applications.
The following are the aspects that you must consider so that your transition to EMR comes with all the benefits.
|User Interface Design||The User Interface (UI) design of the software decides the ease of using the software. Since you must go for an EHR that needs minimal training for the staff, the easier the UI, the better. |
Besides, if the UI is not intuitive, the team will not be able to complete routine tasks on time. And neither will they be able to enjoy the benefits of EHR.
If possible, ask vendors for a free trial and judge how intuitive the interface is. You must preferably have free trials of more than one EHR software and then compare their workflow and ease.
While you do that, remember that the EHR system must only save time rather than increase it.
|Ease of Customisation||Not every healthcare service follows the same procedures and ways. So since all hospitals have their own management styles and needs, the EHR must be flexible enough to adapt. |
Ask the vendors if their systems have room for all your requirements. Moreover, you must also ask for a real-time trial to see if the productivity stays intact in clinical situations.
At the same time, the changes must not compromise with security and compliance requirements. So to say, the EMR benefits must not compromise on quality and compliance.
|Cloud Hosting||Though most EHR software comes with the cloud-hosting benefits, it is still essential to recheck that. Cloud hosting is necessary as it eliminates the need for placing additional physical hardware in your workplace. |
Additionally, it also outsources the need for hiring technicians and maintenance guys. So it is a must to maximize the advantages of EHR.
|Ease of Integration||Integration comes into play when you need to connect some functionality of your website or application to the EHR. For instance, the data of the patient booking an appointment through your website must reflect in the EHR as well. |
But not all EMR comes with the benefits of integration. So talk with the vendor and ask if the EHR can be integrated with your website or application platforms.
|Cost||Electronic health records’ cost varies with the number of benefits it offers and the number of healthcare providers. Besides, the vendor you select may also impact the cost of the software. |
Therefore, when you request a price estimate, ask for the initial licensing fee. And also, the amount that the additional components you need will add to the price.
As per usual practices, there is a fixed price for one user, and that multiplies with the number of users of the EHR software.
|Customer service||Even after days of using an EHR system, you may come up with doubts about its functionality. So it is better to choose a vendor that offers customer support round the clock. Without excellent customer support at the back, it is unlikely that hospitals can get all the advantages of EHR.|
|Implementation and Training||Different EMR software takes days to months to implement. So you must confirm the time it will take to get the EHR up and running from your vendor. |
Besides, some vendors even offer onsite training to the staff and medical practitioners. So that’s another critical advantage of choosing your EHR software.
And this is one of the important benefits of electronic health records to consider.
So these were the top benefits of electronic health records that ascertain that you must opt for it. So we hope that you’ll get the best EHR advantages and improve the quality of your services manifold.
The most important thing is to ensure that your EHR is compliant with HIPAA and other medical guidelines.
However, the best way to access all the EMR benefits within compliance requirements is to get a custom one. Since your custom EMR will be built from scratch, it will be easy for it to accommodate your requirements.
Besides, there will be no redundant features, and neither will you have to pay for something you’ll never need. And if need be, you can get it updated from the same or different developer in no time.