Electronic Health Records Advantages

Electronic health records (EHRs) have become an integral part of many physicians’ clinical workflow, offering the chance to reduce manual data entry steps while streamlining documentation of procedures.

EHRs allow physicians to access patient charts online to view details such as demographics, past medical history, immunizations and laboratory and radiology reports. EHRs also enable electronic prescribing features that flag drug interactions, common dosages or allergies.


EHRs store data securely in digital form that can be easily accessed by authorized users anytime and anywhere – unlike paper charts which required large storage facilities for safekeeping. This makes the EHR ideal for eliminating duplicate copies of medical records for each patient as well as providing instantaneous access to up-to-date and accurate data.

EHRs allow patients and multiple healthcare professionals to share the data at once – specialists, pharmacists and laboratory personnel all in one go – making it easier for patients to receive appropriate treatment and improving overall health outcomes.

However, EHR systems do come with certain risks. Physicians could become overwhelmed with paperwork due to an EHR system’s requirements; this may result in less thorough reviews of patient histories and prescriptions – leaving themselves vulnerable to malpractice lawsuits. These issues can be solved using voice recognition software, standard templates and more frequent physician interaction with the system; two-step access systems like biometrics may also prevent unauthorized access of sensitive information that could prove particularly valuable in treating patients with disabilities such as intellectual or sensory impairments.


Opting to go digital saves paper, but also makes medical records vulnerable to hackers and other attackers. Many healthcare providers utilize off-the-shelf operating systems which may be susceptible to the same viruses that impact desktop and laptop computers; as a worst case scenario, malware could cripple an entire healthcare system by slowing it down or shutting it down [3].

Data encryption is one of the best ways to safeguard EHRs, so your EHR solution should encrypt all information and only permit authorized users access. If any business you contract with doesn’t encrypt their data, look elsewhere for an electronic health records provider.

Cyber attacks against healthcare databases have become more sophisticated and dangerous in recent years. Attackers are shifting from fame to financial gain while using sophisticated technologies that make security breaches harder to detect. To safeguard patient personal information and prevent this access, risk assessment tools can help identify threats while creating the appropriate security protocols – whether completed independently or with help from IT consultant(s).


Though many physicians view EHR software as counterproductive, in order to remain HIPAA compliant and avoid fines from data breaches they must adopt these programs. Many EHR systems feature built-in security measures including biometric authentication or two-step access systems that limit who has access to the system.

Privacy of medical records is of utmost importance. Stolen personal information can cost people dearly, while alteration to medical data could put their health in jeopardy by leading to misdiagnosis or incorrect prescriptions. Given the frequent data breaches that take place today, privacy issues surrounding healthcare records become even more acute.

To safeguard patient confidentiality, an EHR must offer three key features. Confidentiality refers to preventing unauthorised deletion and modification of information by authorized users, while integrity ensures data hasn’t been altered during transfer between systems, such as between an ambulatory practice and hospital. Finally, availability allows accessing this data at any time; audit trails make this easy by showing all activity within an EHR, identifying breaches when they happen, and reporting any breaches as soon as they arise.


EHRs allow patients to view their entire medical history anytime and anywhere – unlike paper charts which become unusable over time. Furthermore, clinicians can view this chart directly for improved workflow efficiency as well as using it for syndromic surveillance or epidemic forecasting purposes.

But the way an EHR system is set up or configured can create inefficiencies that contribute to patient safety risks. For instance, medication might not display correctly or lab tests may not be ordered correctly leading to clinical errors that necessitate clinical corrections. Therefore, customization must take into account clinician needs in order to minimize these risks.

Large health care organizations may spend millions on EHR systems, with associated software and infrastructure costs as well as long-term digital storage expenses. Smaller health care organizations may opt for stand-alone EHR systems with low start-up costs but this requires additional human administrative maintenance such as data transfer. Integrating EHRs with practice management and billing systems may save them time by eliminating additional software downloads or transfers altogether.


EHRs provide access to complete medical records of each patient and enable clinicians to collaborate on providing optimal healthcare outcomes. Furthermore, EHRs facilitate communication among patients and caregivers as well as among various hospitals or practices.

Physicians have reported saving time from documentation burdens by employing EHRs, freeing them up to spend more time with their patients. Unfortunately, their user interface can pose a steep learning curve and force physicians into becoming data entry staff rather than focused on patient care.

Choose an EHR system with an easy user interface is key to streamlining operations at your medical practice without hindering productivity. A great place to begin your search for such an EHR is by taking an honest inventory of current finances, workflow and capabilities of your medical practice – this can help create clear goals and determine which features matter most for your organization and patients alike – for instance biometric or two-step security features could ensure privacy protection of patient records and information.

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