Electronic medical records have many advantages and have changed healthcare for patients, staff and companies. Here we look at a few ways in which going electronic has changed healthcare.
Better Patient Care
One of the most obvious changes with electronic medical records is the change in care. No longer do healthcare professionals have to wade through paper records to discover everything they need to know about a patient. Now, patients walk through the door and healthcare professionals have a general overlook of their health and anything of significant importance (such as a life-threatening illness or allergy) within one screen. This allows for better patient care and better communication. It also prevents paper records from getting lost in transit and can be more secure for many reasons. Once this information is stored electronically, and backed up accordingly, it will always be safe and accessible.
Less Time Consuming
Paper records were time consuming for many reasons. Firstly, healthcare professionals must make sure they have all the necessary documentation printed and ready before each patient. Secondly, writing everything by hand can take much longer than clicking on a few boxes or typing some words into a document. Thirdly, paper records have to be requested from wherever they may be, such as another ward, hospital, or a paper record facility. In the meantime, patients would have to inform doctors of their medical history and illnesses, while waiting for their notes to arrive. This is time consuming for both healthcare professionals and patients. With as much information as date of birth and name, electronic medical records allow professionals to access records instantly.
New Skill Sets
Healthcare professionals have had to adapt to the change in technology and this means they have a wider skill set than ever before. With the everyday use of IT, nurses and doctors have learnt how to use different software systems, input data, transfer patient data and much more. With technology being at the forefront of every business in the modern age, knowing how to adapt and work with technology will aid healthcare professionals in providing the best care. This hasn’t just changed the way healthcare professionals work, though. Insurance companies have also had to change the way they work and look at investing in medical record retrieval electronically. This can aid in finding data that helps resolve cases more quickly than with paper records.
With the help of electronic medical records, referrals are able to be sent and received faster, as all the information can be inputted straight onto a system and sent where it needs to go. Many systems are interlinked, meaning that information can be accessed by several professionals if in the same hospital. For instance, if you needed a referral to a physiotherapist, this could be done quickly via a system that works alongside a medical record system, so the referral could be completed and sent in as little as 5 minutes. Healthcare has adapted dramatically to the changing times and technological advances, with electronic medical records being one of the many ways in which it has improved with the times.