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Coordinating With Care: The Benefits Of Electronic Health Records
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Quality care management can improve healthcare outcomes in hospitals, doctors’ offices and other care settings. One tool to enhance patient care, safety and involvement is the electronic health record (EHR). Also called the electronic medical record (EMR), the EHR is a patient medical record on computer. Modern technology, with its innovative services, not only physically helps patients but provides the daily organization and planning necessary to keep track of records and procedures.

Complete, Accurate Records Improve Patient Safety


Since creating and maintaining an EHR can be as easy as selecting check boxes or typing brief answers to pertinent questions, they are more likely to be accurate and complete. This helps providers make more informed diagnoses and treatment plans. Features such as electronic medication administration record systems help nurses reduce medication errors by scanning barcodes on medication packets to run a computerized check against a patient’s prescribed medications, allergies and current laboratory test results. According to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 88% of clinicians in the United States linked EHRs with improved clinical outcomes.

Communication Matters in Patient Care


Quick and efficient communication of patient information is a real boon to patient care. The EMR data storage of patient charts, laboratory results and, even, scans or x-rays allows providers quick access to critical information across multiple medical offices, if all involved healthcare providers are using the same system. Even with this potential barrier, 94% of healthcare workers surveyed tied improved patient care to this kind of access. Such healthcare providers are using EMRs and reaping benefits that include better care delivery, fewer errors and prompt payment of insurance claims. Less haggling with insurance companies frees medical staff to focus more energy on patient safety and satisfaction. 

Involved Patients Take Better Care of Themselves


In addition to keeping healthcare workers on the same page, the most EHRs let patients log into their account from any computer, tablet or smartphone. This gives them the chance to review important test results and other health-related information. Electronic prescription records are another example of how EHRs are making health management more convenient for patients. In fact, 76% cited reduced waiting time as a benefit of electronic vs. traditional paper prescriptions. This makes it easier for patients to pick up prescriptions and quickly begin treatment. 

EMR systems have transformed healthcare recordkeeping. Across healthcare settings they provide important benefits to care, safety, communication and patient involvement. Current statistics show that patients and healthcare providers find EMRs convenient and helpful.




By Meghan Belnap
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