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If you're a medical professional, you know the importance of keeping track of patient health information. From basic demographics to insurance information and medical history, there's a lot of data that needs to be collected, stored, and shared with other providers.
Enter; electronic health record (EHR) software.
An EHR is a digital version of a patient's paper chart. It includes all of the same information - and sometimes more - but in a format that can be easily accessed, shared, and updated by authorized users.
In this blog post, we provide a comprehensive overview of EHR, including:
- What is EHR?
- The history of EHR
- The benefits of EHR
- Why EHR is crucial in today's world
Whether you're working with an outdated system of paper charts and are looking to switch to an electronic health record, or are just simply curious about what an EHR is, then read on! This post is for you.
What Is Electronic Health Record?
As we mentioned briefly above, an EHR can be defined as a digital version of a patient's paper chart. However, an electronic health record goes beyond simply digitizing paper records. EHRs are designed to be a complete record of a patient's care, from the very first visit, to the present day.
The following are the three types of data that an Electronic Health Record may contain:
- Clinical information
- Demographic information
- Administrative information
This data can then be broken down into even more specific categories, such as:
- Age, race, and gender
- Address and contact information
- Medical history
- Treatment plans
- Lab results
- Radiology images
- Insurance information
With all of this information in one place, EHRs are able to provide a more holistic view of a patient's health and care journey.
The History of EHRs
Although the term "electronic health record" is relatively new, the concept of a digital patient chart is not. In fact, EHRs have been in development since the 1960s.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was one of the first extensive medical systems to use an EHR. However, EHRs were so costly in the 1960s, that the government solely utilized them in collaboration with healthcare institutions.
It took 20 years for EHRs to become more affordable and accessible for private practices. In the 1980s, individual providers began using personal computers to store patient health information electronically. This allowed small groups of providers to share patient data within their own practices.
Fast forward to today, and the use of EHRs has become ubiquitous in the healthcare industry. From solo practitioners to large hospitals, most medical providers now use some form of the electronic health record, and the information is shared across multiple platforms and institutions nationwide.
The Benefits of EHR
Many benefits come along with using an EHR system. Let's take a look at a few of the most notable ones.
- Improved patient care - When all of a patient's information is stored in one place, it's easier for providers to make informed decisions about their care. EHRs also make it easier to coordinate care between different providers, leading to better overall patient outcomes.
- Reduced costs - One of the most significant benefits of EHRs is that they can help reduce the cost of healthcare. By streamlining administrative processes and reducing duplicate tests, EHRs help save time and money.
- Increased efficiency - EHRs can help medical practices run more efficiently. With features like automated billing and appointment reminders, providers can spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time seeing patients.
- Improved access to information - EHRs give providers access to patient data anytime, anywhere. This is especially beneficial for providers who work in multiple locations, or for after-hours care.
The Importance of EHR Today
As you can see, electronic health records offer a lot of advantages for both patients and providers. As a result, in today's healthcare landscape, EHRs are more important than ever.
With the rise of value-based care, providers are being reimbursed based on the quality of care they provide, not the quantity. This means that providers need to be able to track and measure patient outcomes in order to improve them, and EHRs deliver the data that medical professionals need to do this effectively.
It's important to note that patients also expect their providers to be using EHRs, and may choose to go to a different practice if they're not. EHRs are becoming more and more common in today's digital world. In order to stay competitive, medical practices must adopt an EHR system.
Electronic health record software is a crucial part of the healthcare industry. By improving patient care, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency, EHRs are changing the way healthcare is delivered. If you're not using an EHR system in your practice, now is the time to start.
Here at Practice EHR, we offer a complete EHR solution for medical practices of all sizes. Our software is user-friendly, affordable, and can be customized to fit the needs of your practice.
Schedule a demo, or try it out yourself with a free trial. We'll show you how Practice EHR can help your medical institution run more smoothly, and improve the overall quality of care that you provide.
If you have any questions about EHRs, or how our software can benefit your practice, don't hesitate to get in touch!
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