Improving Patient Care Through Technological Advancements Technological advancements in healthcare are helping facilities work as effiecienty and effectively as possible. Accepting these changes can help physicians and the like provide the best care to patients. One such technological advancement is the conversion from paper medical records to electronic medical records, or EMRs. EMRs provide higher quality care for patients by streamlining the transfer of information from different healthcare providers, making health records more accessible for patients and multiple healthcare professionals, and by reducing mistakes within the medical reocrds themselves. To begin with, electronic medical records are composed of information from multiple healthcare professionals, so all patient information is located in one e-chart.
Rather than one healthcare facility having a physical patient chart, every healthcare facility a patient visits can input health information. A patient can also access and review his or her e-medical chart online. EMRs include clinical documents, diagnostics and tests, and other important medical information about an individual. Having all this information in one place makes e-charts more accessible to physicians and other healthcare professionals. In addition to effortless conveying medical charts, EMRs are easier for multiple healthcare providers and even patients, to access.
E-medical charts can be accessed by smartphones, tablets, and computers. That means if a patient is waiting on lab results or if he or she needs to check instructions on dosage for prescribed medication, he or she can simply log in to the patient portal and access information. Since all health information would be online in one e-chart, there is no wait for medical charts to e faxed from one facility to another. Since all information is shared between all healthcare professionals, there is less of a chance of mistakes being made because of incorrect information. A third benefit from using electronic medical records is that the medical information has a higher accuracy. Instead of reading a physician’s or nurse’s illegible handwriting, information is entered in an electronic software. When a patient must see numerous healthcare providers, tracking his or her health information can be an issue in paper charts.
This information can range from what type of blood the patient possesses to what medication he or she is currently prescribed. Since some medications can not be taken simultaneously, up-to-date, accurate health information is very important. With electronic medical records, information is updated by many healthcare providers and provides immediate information from test results and other important medical information about the patient’s health status. Since so many individuals have access to EMRs, privacy and security measures are key to success.
Another advantage of electronic medical records is increased privacy and security. Every patient is entitled to health privacy, whether his or her information is stored as a paper chart or electronically. This privacy is garenteed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountabily Act, or HIPAA. HIPAA requires healthcare professionals to keep all medical information and the likes, private. EMRs need personalized identification numbers, or a PIN, to be accessed. Records may also be encrypted, which can be read with the correct software. Any changes made to medical charts or when a chart is accessed is marked by a time-stamp.
All of these defenses come together to guarantee the patient’s privacy. Along with an increase in patient privacy, healthcare providers gain monetary benefits from using EMRs as well. Financial incentives for using an electronic medical record software range from saving money spent on misdiagnoses to unnecessary expenditures. All previously stated benefits from using EMRs save moneu as well. Saving time by being able to access patient information at the click of a button saves money. Employers can perform a wider range of tasks with EMRs. Medical errors cost healthcare facilities money, so less mistakes mean less monetary loss.
Saving money is a positive outcome for all healthcare facilities. In conclusion, electronic medical records increase the quality of patient care in numerous ways from compiling all information to one easily accessible source to reducing medical malpractice. Converting paper medical charts to electronic medical charts is an important change in the healthcare field, and effects every profession in the healthcare field.