How Will Electronic Health Records Improve Our Lives
Health information technology has come a long way in the past several years, with the result being a large percentage of medical facilities doing away with keeping medical records on paper and filing them manually. Instead, today’s medical providers have opted to create and maintain electronic medical records for their patients. The result has been a simplified system for doctors and nurses who need to access a patient’s file to inform themselves about previous visits as well as to record information about the current visit. As a result of this transition, education is an important key in the field of health information technology.
The Benefits of the Electronic Medical Record for Providers
With paper files, there is always the possibility of information being lost, stolen or damaged. When a patient’s medical information is recorded electronically, the person who is accessing it must have a password. In this way, it is a much more secure system since it limits who can see private medical data.
An electronic medical record is also more convenient for health care providers who may work for the same establishment, but be at different locations. It allows them the ability to consult with one another while looking at the same information. In the future, health information technology may be accessible to all health care providers across the country and not just those in the same organization.
When exam rooms are equipped with computers containing electronic medical records, nurses and their assistants can update the patient’s vital statistics and medication list immediately. This gives the doctor who examines a patient the most up-to-date information possible about the patient’s condition and allows him or her to treat the patient accordingly.
The use of the electronic medical record helps cut down on unnecessary tests and medical procedures that occur when different doctors who are treating the same patient have not had the opportunity to discuss his or her condition. With the immediate availability of the electronic medical record, doctors can consult with one another and create a treatment plan that is more efficient.
Another benefit of completing medical records electronically is the ability to standardize language and forms that may vary across different medical establishments. The electronic medical record forces those who are entering information to input in a standard format, thus creating a system that is more uniform across the board.
How the Electronic Medical Record Will Improve the Lives of Patients
The use of electronic medical record allows the patient the ability to be more proactive in his or her own medical care. If the health care system where the patient is normally treated allows for it, the patient can be given a log-in and password to a secured website to view limited medical information such as health trends, past surgeries or procedures and upcoming appointments. For example, if the patient is borderline diabetic, he or she can monitor blood glucose levels from home and take steps to better manage this health condition.
The electronic medical record also provides convenience for the patient, offering such things as the ability to print health histories and immunization schedules that may be required to enroll in college or for a child to attend camp. The patient can do this right from home and bypass the need to call or visit the clinic in order to obtain medical records.