Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software: Does Your Practice Need it?
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a digital record containing a patient’s medical history, including allergies, health history, medications, and more. An EHR represents a running history of a patient’s care, across various healthcare providers and creates a comprehensive record of the patient’s health, wellness, and treatments. EHR software is a collection of tools for properly creating, updating, and using Electronic Health Records.
EHR Vs. EMR
While the medical records industry is trending away from the distinction between the two, the fact remains that EMR and EHR represent different depictions of a patient’s health and history.
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are kept on individual health events. For example, if a patient comes into the Emergency Room with a broken arm, an EMR for that specific medical event will be created and contain all the details about the patient and the care they received. Likewise, surgeries and outpatient procedures are also documented in EMRs.
EMRs are specific to particular medical events or procedures, and are often proprietary to the practice or clinic where the patient was treated for the event. These often don’t get shared outside the practice where they were created and documented.
On the other hand, Electronic Health Records (EHR) contain a comprehensive history of a patient’s health, ranging from contact information, health history, medications, allergies, and more. EHRs are shared more universally across all facets and locations involved as a patient receives care over time.
EHR in an Integrated Suite of Tools Vs. Stand-Alone Solutions
EHR software is available as a stand-alone solution, however, most vendors are trending toward creating all-in-one, cloud-based software suites that provide practices with all the tools they need to run and administrate an efficient, successful practice.
Cloud systems are more affordable and make compliance easier since they’re designed to all the regulations in the industry (and updated regularly at no cost to your practice outside of your monthly fee for using the software). As a result, most of the leading Practice Management software vendors now offer completely integrated software systems that include tools for practice management, secure and compliant health record storage, and billing all in one easily accessible system.
Yes, Your Practice Needs EHR Software, and Here’s Why…
Secure Patient Records and Adherence to Federal Regulations
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act passed in 2009 requires providers to move from paper to electronic documentation in order to make it easier to exchange patient information and coordinate care. More than 95 percent of hospitals and nearly 90 percent of office-based physicians have adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system.
-Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Furthermore, there are now federal regulations in place that govern how medical and health information is stored, used, and shared. These laws help protect patients and also provide benefits to practices that maintain compliance in meaningful use of patient health records. A large part of properly maintaining patient health records is finding an efficient way that physicians and nurses can properly chart and track data without detracting from their overall goal-patient care.
As a result, practices of all sizes and types are implementing Electronic Health Records (EHR) software to help streamline administrative work and also assure compliance in patient health history and data.
Access to Patient Data and History for Treatment
32% of individuals who went to a doctor in the past 12 months reported experiencing a gap in information exchange. About 1 in 20 individuals who had been to the doctor last year reported having to redo a test or procedure because their prior data was unavailable. About 1 in 5 individuals had to bring prior test results to an appointment.
-The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
EHR systems replace paper records, and can be stored, updated, and accessed much more accurately and efficiently. Having patient information handy and always updated will increase the quality of care you can provide patients and reduce costly delays or mistakes.
Efficiency and Cost Savings=See More Patients and Generate More Revenue
EHR solutions should allow you to simplify your charting, adding details and updates with just a few clicks rather than spending hours updating charts to keep accurate patient records. Then, you have all your patient data consolidated in one system, which can be easily accessed when needed, saving time and boosting the efficiency of your practice.
When your practice runs efficiently, you’ll be able to see more patients, which helps build your practice and increase revenue as well.
Like what you just read? At Wheelhouse, we are passionate about all things software, and our specialty is connecting software buyers to an enterprise solution that perfectly matches their needs.
Please visit our Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software page for a complete list of all the solutions we have on offer. Need more help? Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to assist you!