The Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Interested in becoming a medical assistant? The medical assistant is tasked with managing and updating electronic health records to keep track of patient’s health, treatment and procedures. That way everyone that treats the patient will have access to the patient’s electronic health record. There are many benefits of electronic health records. But first, what is an electronic health record?

What is an Electronic Health Record

The electronic health record (EHR) is a systemized collection of a patient’s electronically stored health information. The electronic health records can be shared by all providers in a patient’s care including physicians, medical offices and healthcare professionals.

Some of the information recorded in electronic medical records includes vital signs, medical history, medications, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, patient demographics and all insurance billing information.

Patient Benefits of Electronic Health Records

Some of the benefits of electronic health records include improved patient outcomes, collective care throughout the patient’s life, historical tracking of patient records, proper monitoring of patients, less errors and duplicate testing, time and resources savings, and confidential and secure patient information.

Electronic Health Records Help Improve Patient Outcomes – The system can be set up to alert the health care provider of possible complications, allergies to certain medications, critical lab values or an alert that the patient is due for an important test.

Collective Care Throughout the Patients Life – The electronic health record can be accessed, created, managed and consulted by authorized providers and staff from multiple health care organizations. Patients receive better medical treatment due to the ability to share the electronic health records among the healthcare provider community which are involved in the patient’s care. The health care provider doesn’t have to wait hours for the patient’s medical records to be received via mail or fax. With electronic health records, they are available to another medical provider almost instantaneously. By sharing the information with all health care providers and facilities involved in the care of a particular patient, the risks of medical errors are lowered, the patient doesn’t have to endure and pay for duplicate tests, and overall quality of care improves. With electronic health records, the patient is also able to access and respond to physicians with the use of communication tools including text messages and emails.

Historical Tracking of Patient Records – The physician has access to the patient’s health care records across their entire life, offering explanations for different conditions or treatments that have been tested. Many patients move from one physician to the next and each physician will be able to access the patient’s notes in electronic format.

Properly Monitor Patients – By using electronic medical records, the health care community can properly monitor a patient and understand when screenings are necessary or when preventative care is administered.

Less Errors and Duplicate Testing – With the help of electronic health records, physicians will not make errors in medications prescribed and treatments offered. If a patient reported an allergy to one physician, all physicians that access the medical records will know about the allergy and not prescribe medication that will cause an adverse reaction. Electronic health records will also reduce the amount of duplicate test that are performed due to lack of insight into other physician’s treatments and medical records.

Time and Resources Savings – Many physicians had resources dedicated to managing incoming and outgoing files for all patients. Time and resources were wasted by the inefficiency of the old filing processes. Having electronic medical records and a universal coding system allows more time for physicians to help their patients.

Confidential and Secure Personal Information – By keeping patient’s personal information in a secure environment, it is harder for people to steal paper documents or intercept mail that holds confidential patient information. Medical records can be accessed only by those who have permission. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) specifies who can access a patient’s private medical records and when. It established boundaries on the exchange of medical records for all health care providers.

Healthcare Industry Benefits of Electronic Health Records

The healthcare industry benefits from EHRs by creating better research.

Better Research For All – With all the patient’s history, treatments and other healthcare information searchable in electronic format, it gives medical research professionals an easier way to compile data and identify trends in the global population. Major illnesses and the treatments for those illnesses can be identified quicker and with a greater data set.

Did learning about the benefits of electronic health records interest you? Ready to become a medical assistant? Gwinnett Colleges & Institute offers medical assisting courses to gain essential skills and training. The core curriculum focuses on the medical assisting skills and training you will need to seek entry-level employment in physicians’ offices, clinics, hospitals, and other medical settings needing the services of associates trained in both front and back office medical assisting skills. These medical assisting courses will be the first step in starting a rewarding career.