Electronic Health Records: An Introduction

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What is an electronic health record (EHR) and how does it work?

A digital counterpart of a patient’s paper chart is called an electronic health record (EHR). EHRs are patient-centered, real-time records that make information available to authorized users promptly and securely. While an EHR system does contain a patient’s medical and treatment history, it is designed to go beyond traditional clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can encompass a broader view of a patient’s care. EHRs are an important aspect of health IT because they can :

 The medical history, diagnosis, prescriptions, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology pictures, and laboratory and test results of a patient are all kept in this file.

 Allow providers access to evidence-based tools for making decisions about a patient’s care.

 Provider workflow can be automated and streamlined.

One of the most important characteristics of an EHR is that authorized physicians can create and manage health information in a digital format that can be shared with other providers across several healthcare organizations. EHRs are designed to share data with other healthcare providers and organizations, such as laboratories, specialists, medical imaging centers, pharmacies, emergency rooms, and school and workplace clinics, so they contain data from all doctors involved in a patient’s care.

Benefits

EHRs are patient-centered, real-time records that make information available to authorized users promptly and securely. While an EHR system does contain a patient’s medical and treatment history, it is designed to go beyond traditional clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can encompass a broader view of a patient’s care. The medical history, diagnosis, prescriptions, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology pictures, and laboratory and test results of a patient are all kept in EHR.

Implementation

The majority of clinicians agree that deploying an EHR is a long process. There is no single target or endpoint because there is always the chance to improve workflows or data usage. This area contains materials to help you through the many stages of EHR adoption, implementation, and improvement. These are some of them:

 Planning

 Selecting a vendor

 Contracting with a vendor

 Implementing and adopting an EHR

 Using your EHR

 Optimizing or replacing your EHR

It’s time to think about how you can use your workflows to improve and optimize the way you use your EHR after you’ve spent some time using and getting to know it. This phase of your ongoing EHR journey begins when you add new health IT solutions, such as:

  • Adding a patient portal
  • Connecting to a health information exchange
  • Participating in value-based care or new payment models

EMR vs. EHR

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a computerized counterpart of the clinician’s paper charts. The medical and treatment histories of patients in a single practice are stored in an EMR. Electronic medical records (EMRs) provide several advantages over paper records. EMRs, for example, enable clinicians to:

Keep track of data over time.

Identify which patients require preventive screenings or checkups with ease.

Examine how their patients are performing on particular measures, like blood pressure or immunizations.

Within the practice, monitor and enhance the overall quality of care.

However, information in EMRs does not easily leave the practice. The patient’s record may have to be printed and mailed to specialists and other members of the care team. EMRs aren’t any better than paper records in this aspect.

All of these things—and more—are possible with electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs are focused on a patient’s overall health, extending beyond normal clinical data collected in the doctor’s office to include a broader view of the patient’s care. EHRs are intended to extend beyond the health institution that gathers and combines the data in the first place. They’re designed to share data with other healthcare providers, such as laboratories and specialists, so they have data from all of the professionals involved in the patient’s treatment. The patient’s information travels with him or EHR to the specialist, the hospital, the nursing home, the next state, and even across the country.

Sources & References: https://www.healthit.gov/

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