The Rationale Behind EHR

According to World Health Organization (WHO), U.S currently spends 17.3% of its GDP on healthcare.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), U.S currently spends 17.3% of its GDP on healthcare. However, despite this substantial investment in the healthcare industry, the results in terms of improved healthcare are hardly evident. In fact, many healthcare experts believe that the goal of providing affordable and quality healthcare is being hindered because of the obsolete “pay for service” culture. 

Apart from accountability and efficiency, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were introduced to achieve the aforementioned goals of improving the quality of care. Having seen EMRs evolve over the last few years, it is not difficult to deduce that this technology is the strongest component of improvement in the care delivery network across the United States. The past few years have also seen a monumental surge in the development and demand of such systems. With the wider adoption of electronic health records among hospitals and private practices of all sizes, the care community has witnessed the ease with which information can be shared across the care continuum.

Cloud based systems have taken care collaboration and accessibility to a whole new level. Providers can instantaneously store, retrieve and access a complete medical history of the patient from virtually anywhere in the world. Accessibility, accountability and dissemination of information, are not the only reasons for the success of this technology. EHRs today are equipped with advanced alerts along with automatic checks for interactions between drugs, allergies or diagnosis. Providers no longer need to telephone pharmacies or fax laboratories to refill a prescription or perform a medical procedure, as with EMRs this can all be done with a touch of a button.  This has certainly introduced a whole new culture of care delivery, with upcoming physicians now expecting this technology to aid them in their decision making.

“Not long ago, EHRs were considered by many as a mere tool for storing clinical documentation. However with increased awareness and government support, EHRs are now at a whole new level of usability, accessibility, accountability and interoperability. This has increased our expectations as clinical users because we expect these systems to ensure that critical information is never overlooked”, says a Florida based physician.

Electronic Health Records are bringing healthcare into the future by streamlining the administrative, clinical and financial operations of healthcare organizations. However, there are other advantages of digitizing healthcare information as well, such as the filtration of data to derive analytical studies related to medical conditions, drug interactions etc, which ultimately lead to the prevention of adverse clinical outcomes and ensure patient safety.