Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Electronic health records

The Health care industry has undergone dramatic changes over the last few decades. Most of changes revolve around gathering of information and these changes undoubtedly affect both providers and patients. The use of information technology gives access to gather health related information systematically and thereby improves the quality and efficiency of patient healthcare. With the emergence of EHR, the doctors can now instantly access the complete medical information and clinical records of patients on a routine basis.

An Electronic Health Records (EHR) is a digital record of an individual patient collected in computerized format in order to share medical report among multiple healthcare agencies. Digitized health information is a developing concept which can provide very effective and quality solutions for patient care besides helping in reducing costs.


The system is designed to feed all the appropriate conditions of an individual patient or population in a digital format that is theoretically shared across different health care settings. Sharing can also be done by means of network-connected, management information systems and other information networks or exchanges.

In other way, Electronic health record is a source of communication between multiple health care providers to organize, store and manage health data as well as to coordinate a safe, secure and accurate data of an individual patient.




This record constitutes the heart of e-Health that can be implemented for various public health programs for achieving human development in the field of health sector.


Among other types of data, an EHR typically includes:

  1. Contact information.

  2. Medical history of patient.

  3. Medication and allergies.

  4. Insurance information.

  5. Immunization status.

  6. Information about any conditions or diseases.

  7. Records of hospitalization.

  8. Information about any surgeries or procedures performed.

  9. Billing information.

  10. Family history.

The governments of many countries are working to ensure that all citizens have standardized electronic health records including the same type of information. However, the major barrier for the adoption of electronic health records is due to high cost involvement.

Functions of Electronic health record systems:

  1. Create unique record for each patient including analysis of demographic information of patients
  2. Helps in updating patient history
  3. Act as source of communication between the professionals and patient records.
  4. Lists patient allergic medications and other factors and helps in separating these drugs from a list of common drugs
  5. Stores all the data right from the early stage to the final and provides whenever needed
  6. Has the ability to register without re-entering medication order by initial data entry from previous data (template for reuse)
  7. Allows storing of laboratory results and displays the normal and abnormal results
  8. Describes & documents the oral communications and telephone orders for patient

Advantages of Electronic Health Record

  1. The entire patient history can be easily viewed without previous medical records and assists in providing accurate, appropriate and legible data.
  2. The chance of replication or duplication is reduced as there is only one single file which is constantly updated and it also eliminates the problem of lost forms or paperwork.
  3. It is an effective method for extracting medical data for further changes in examination of the patient’s medication profile.
  4. Medical records of more than one patient can be easily extracted from EHR database and can be used to gain common characteristics information for other patients, which help in easily and quickly prediction of a disease.
  5. Electronic health records are capable of storing, processing or transferring data to the physician far from their patients simultaneously by proper equipment information and communication technology.
  6. Electronic health records are very much in demand in healthcare practice and enables professionals to interact with each other effectively. The health data management services mainly use EHR for storing all the information.

Implementing an EMR system

Implementing an EMR system requires careful planning and strong knowledge of trained staff. The following can help make successful implementation of an EMR system at your office.

  1. Choose your TPA(third-party application) carefully
  2. Ensure connectivity
  3. Develop workable templates
  4. Training the Staff
  5. Establish data security system
  6. Prepare EHR details
  7. Create harmony between the standard organizations and all interested groups and sub-organizations.

Barriers to implementing an EHR system

  1. Incorporation of older paper data into the EHR system
  2. Imprecise preservation and long term storage of records
  3. Difficulty in Synchrony records
  4. Inadequacy of Privacy concern
  5. Incompatible with older technology
  6. Software maintenance costs
  7. Higher costs involved in implementation of a customized system initially.

Due to the challenges and complexities of electronic health records, few people feel uneasy about using electronic medical record software for storing their medical data. On the other hand, there are many people who prefer electronic health records as they feel there is nothing better than digital documentation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the FANTASTIC post! This information is really good and thanks a ton for sharing it :-) I m looking forward desperately for the next post of yours..
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