Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Electronic health records minimize medical errors. EHRs are reliable than paper records in many ways. For example, illegible or poor handwriting in paper records is prone to misinterpretation, resulting in serious mistakes. EHRs eliminate medication errors by providing a clear description of a patient’s health status, diagnosis, and prescriptions. The technology has significantly reduced errors in the healthcare field. Unlike paper records, it is unlikely to confuse notes and descriptions in an electronic database.

Furthermore, electronic health records improve patient outcomes. EHRs are accurate and up-to-date. They contain complete information about a patient, allowing doctors and nurses to provide customized care. Moreover, clinicians use electronic records to track a patient’s health history and predict possible scenarios. Such understanding improves patient outcomes because healthcare providers know what best works for a specific patient.

Electronic health records save lives. EHRs are stored electronically, meaning that healthcare providers can retrieve patient data at any given time and location. Such saves life when a doctor requires instant access to a patient’s records to proceed with a medical procedure or surgery. A doctor in a different hospital, country or continent can also retrieve such information within minutes. Unlike EHRs, paper records take time to locate, which might be fatal when surgery is urgent. Easy access to a patient’s past medications, allergies, blood type, and pre-existing conditions allows doctors to make treatment decisions quickly, saving lives.

Electronic health records improve efficiency in nursing. Nurses regularly identify, store, secure, retrieve, and track medical records in healthcare facilities. Managing and preserving paper records is time-consuming as nurses must navigate through thousands of files. On the other hand, EHRs improve efficiency by enabling nurses to store, track, and retrieve information quickly and efficiently with the click of a button. Nurses are no longer subjected to cumbersome and demanding paper records. Electronic health records have fostered continuity, good communication, consistency, and efficiency in the nursing field.

Moreover, electronic health records promote data privacy and security. A person’s healthcare records, including medical history, illness, and medication, are protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Failure to protect patient data exposes organizations to lawsuits; lawsuits associated with a breach of privacy result in reputational damage and millions paid in damages. EHR helps organizations avoid lawsuits and data breaches by controlling and restricting access, sharing, or viewing patient records. Patients feel safe when assured that their medical records are not disclosed to third parties.

Electronic health records involve patients. EHRs incorporate a patient portal feature that allows patients to access, read, or share personal health data with medical providers. EHRs empower patients by allowing them to play a direct role in service delivery and care provision. The technology presents individuals with an opportunity to influence the service and care they receive. Furthermore, although healthcare organizations are meticulous, errors are prone to arise, and allowing patients to access health information copies helps identify and correct possible mistakes. Overall, patient participation in the nursing and healthcare field improves life quality, health outcomes, and service delivery.

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