Healthcare Tech Official
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August 22, 2017

Healthcare Tech Terms: Electronic Health Records, Definition & Benefits

The Procs and Cons of Electronic Health Records

What is an Electronic Health Record?

An Electronic Health Record, or EHR, is a digital version of a patient chart. Containing the medical history & treatment of patients, EHRs go beyond paper charts to offer a live, broader view of a patient's care. Beyond information that can be taken at an individual care provider, EHRs can include a patient’s diagnoses, medications, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory test results. The main value of EHRs, however, comes from the fact that they can be shared between providers over the course of a patient's medical experience.

Whereas paper charts and non-digital records can only be tracked by one organization, EHRs are designed to be managed in a digital format in such a way that they can be shared between numerous providers. This provides a broader view of the patient history, and a better patient experience overall.

The Benefits of Electronic Health Records

The Pros of using Electronic Health Records

In the US, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act represents the Nation’s first substantial commitment of Federal resources to support adoption of EHRs. Just a few benefits of Electronic Health Records include:

  • Improved Care Co-ordination
  • Increased Patient Participation
  • Cost Saving for Providers
  • More informed diagnoses
  • Better overall Patient Care

Ultimately, the key benefit of utilizing EHRs is that they provide more information and insight into Patient histories. However, there are a number of things to consider before implementing Electronic Health Records for a provider.

Cons of Electronic Health Records

One of the main concerns of providers seeking to implement EHRs in their organization is the importance of keeping records 100% secure. Extreme diligence is required to ensure that patient records cannot be leaked or altered by malicious hackers.

EHR users must also be sure of the quality of their developers - developers that may not be invested in the software can cease use or development of the program, meaning providers will not be able to receive support on technical issues, risking the quality and integrity of the system.

Electronic Health Records - Are They Right for You?

Ultimately, the Healthcare industry is known for its wariness when it comes to implementing new technologies - providers must carefully weigh their options when looking to implement the use of Electronic Health Records, to ensure a solid system is put into place.

Read More: Healthcare Tech Terms: What is Interoperability in Healthcare? Why is it important?


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