According to the department of HHS (Health and Human Services), the adoption of electronic health records by physicians saw a gradual rise in 2011, and in 2013, the HHS announced that it surpassed the goal of 80% hospitals and 50% doctor offices adopting EHRs by the end of the calendar year.
Another study that deals with the adoption of EHRs among family physicians reveals that the adoption rate has increased by twice the amount since 2005 and is expected to exceed 80% by the year in progress. The conclusion of the result says that adoption and characterization of EHR capacities is required for comprehensive exchange of data for efficient, low cost health care.
The trends and studies make it evident that there are several benefits to be reaped from EHR technology. Among them, the top 10 benefits include:
Benefits Of Electronic Health Records Technology
1. Improved patient care
Through EHRs, healthcare providers can utilize the automated tools that produce population management reports. Other features that can lead to better management include outreach protocols and clinical trial and testing.
Also, some tools like clinical trial management assist practitioners to comply with best practice and clinical guidelines, which can be fine-tuned according to patient wellness and disease indicators.
2. Reduced time wastage
Electronic health records software allows for paperless recording and reporting which reduces wastage of time for both the patient and the provider. The user can get access to patient records, histories and other information more quickly compared to paper-based records, which allows him/her to allocate more time towards the real problem.
Likewise, patients don’t have to wait in hour-long queues for their turn, as the software allows for quick visits and some options even let enable the user to cater to more than one patient in a single setting.
3. Improved work flows
The EHR software can also be classified as a data-driven system as it can automate work flows without requiring manual human intervention in both non-clinical and clinical workplace settings. Perhaps the biggest input contributing to improved work flows is that the system streamlines the process of chart analyses for finding deficiencies and reviewing multiple patient records.
Also, when the manual process of the above mentioned work flow(s) is integrated into the system, it improves the efficiency of the end user. And with most of the records available online, the healthcare provider can also reduce the cost of adding an employee just to deal with the chart analysis process.
4. Financial incentives
Doctors and physicians who are able to make the most out of electronic health records in hospitals and offices may be entitled to bonus payments from the federal government. The financial incentives are in place to promote meaningful use after the software has been adopted.
More specifically, meaningfully using EHRs translates into reduction in medical errors, improvement in the quality of care, improvement in care and coordination, increased engagement of families and patients and privacy as well as security of personal patient health data.
5. Data for researches
Researchers can effectively utilize data from EHRs to search for medical information about the patient’s condition, the name of the physician, the category of care and test and the date at which the treatment was performed.
All this information will allow them to create databases for accurate input of patient information and outcomes. Therefore, by utilizing the large amount of data, the researchers can speed up new research findings and their implementation.
6. Patient loyalty
Patients suffering from chronic diseases and illness can easily feel uncomfortable in a clinic or a hospital, especially the elderly. However, a joint study conducted by 88 Brand partners and A effect shows that patients are likely to show more loyalty to doctors who are using EHR technology.
This becomes an added bonus for the user, because patients are likely to revisit and find it convenient to see their own reports, usually accessible from anywhere through an online portal or dashboard. Also, some patients may forgo a doctor without an electronic health record facility altogether.
7. Accuracy of billing
When medical billing processes are carried out the manual way, there’s always a chance of human error, and even one single mistake can obfuscate the main cause of a disease. According to experts, the average medical practice submits more than 50% of its claims with incorrect codes. EHRs on the other hand are quite efficient in maintaining billing records.EHRs on the other hand are quite efficient in maintaining billing records.
Because EHRs also assist in faster processing of claims and more accurate billing reports, the entire process benefits from the reduction in rejection rates. Patients are also more comfortable on their end as most of them are aware of the effort-free nature of these electronic systems.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of EHR software is that it is interconnected; any healthcare entity or provider in the entire industry can communicate data with physicians around the world, so patient data can be shared safely without any problems.
This also allows providers to discuss disease related issues in real time and contribute if there’s a query from the other end. So patients can benefit from the input of ‘several minds’, thanks to the electronic health record technology.
9. Engagement of patients
EHR solutions not only provide vital tools for the physicians, but patients can also utilize them and contribute to better clinical outcomes. Some solutions offer dedicated portals, which allow patients to file in refill requests, ask questions related to the procedure, update personal information and schedule appointments.
There are even additional services in modern offerings. For example, patients may find educational tools help them learn more about their condition and features that allow them to send appointment reminders through SMS and email.
10. Reduction in costs
Apart from the indirect reduction in costs for facilities who receive financial government incentives for adopting EHRs, the technology also leads to the direct reduction in costs, which allow physicians to charge low fees from the patients.
This is also backed by the University of Michigan healthcare cost data study in nine communities. They analyzed more than four years and compared patient healthcare costs in 3 communities adopting EHRs and 6 communities that didn’t adopt the technology. The former had lower expenses than the latter.