Should Your Healthcare Organization Switch From Paper Documentation to EHRs?

From Paper Documentation to EHRs

The days of paper documents dominating every field seem to be behind us, as digital files take over almost every industry. It is understandable why people would make such a shift – electronic documents are practical and easy to use. Especially the healthcare sector, largely relying on documentation, can benefit from electronic health record systems instead of archives full of paper files. What are the advantages that such digitalization can bring? Let’s investigate.

What are the Benefits of Keeping Electronic Records?

Anything that makes our lives easier is a great invention, and so are electronic medical records. Healthcare providers often serve hundreds, even thousands, of patients, and need a reliable system to manage all the gathered data. It has to be safe and secure and offer a large amount of space for the ever-growing collection of information. All those needs can be fulfilled by an electronic health records system, which can be purchased from a vendor of ready-made solutions or commissioned from a healthcare software development services company. Whichever of these options the medical institution chooses will be better than sticking to paper, notes, and binders. So, what exactly do EHRs have to offer the healthcare industry?

Saved Space

Among the many benefits of EHR systems is, of course, the fact that they do not require physical space to store documents. All the data gathered can be kept on external servers or in the cloud, freeing up valuable space that can be used for other purposes. No filing cabinets or entire rooms filled with folders are needed; they just require virtual space.

Easier Access to Data

Electronic Health Record systems have a great advantage over traditional ones in terms of quick access. They allow doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to access patient data in seconds without the need to browse through dozens of folders or look for specific pages in the documentation. In EHR software, everything can be accessed through a computer or a smart device, which is useful when the data is needed immediately, in emergency situations, or during medical consultations.

Improved Efficiency

The streamlined medical processes result in improved efficiency and better patient care outcomes. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) make it easy to schedule appointments, keep track of prescriptions, and spot changes in a patient’s health state over time. Opting for EHR software development from scratch or customizations for your particular organization allows to add even more functions that ease the process. It can also help reduce the possibility of human error, such as illegible handwritten notes or misplaced testing equipment printouts.

Stronger Data Security

While you can store paper files in locked drawers or even guarded rooms, electronic health records offer a stronger set of security measures to protect sensitive data. Information is encrypted using advanced algorithms and access is strictly controlled and monitored. Audit trail functions allow the system owners to check, who has accessed, edited, or removed the stored data, so in case of tampering, it can be easily detected and then traced back to the responsible individual.

Cross-facility Integration

An Electronic Health Records system can be designed so that data can be shared with other medical institutions, which is especially useful when patients are transported or referred to other specialists. Thanks to EHRs, medical staff at another facility will be able to view the patient’s data in a clear, organized manner, allowing them to better understand their medical history and provide appropriate care.

Valuable Insights

Electronically stored information is much easier to analyze and interpret compared to paper records. Today, big data analytics tools can be utilized to detect trends over time or within a specific demographic. It can help medical professionals notice potentially alarming trends or issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. This, in turn, leads to earlier interventions and prevention of more serious health risks.

Finding the Best EHR for Your Organization

There are more to EHRs than what we discussed in this article. Every medical institution is unique and has different needs and requirements. While most EHR software will fit the basic needs of a healthcare organization, it is important to assess what is most important for a specific facility or practice. Some may prioritize ease of use, while others will look for a solution that easily integrates with other healthcare-related software. Many will prefer better security measures over extra functionalities.

Universally, the best choice would be to have a custom-made solution tailored to the exact needs of its users. Custom healthcare software is more expensive than ready-made systems, but it provides the highest level of satisfaction.

If you prefer a ready-made system, thoroughly research the available options and choose one with multiple positive reviews, regular updates, and a good reputation. Do not trust vendors with suspiciously low prices, as their software is often unpolished, full of bugs, and may compromise the security of the sensitive patient data. You also need to check, if the application adheres to all the laws and regulations you must comply with in the healthcare industry – otherwise you risk legal consequences.

EHR Trainings as a Necessity

Working today without using electronic devices is difficult, especially in the healthcare sector, where the amount of patient data to manage is constantly growing. Electronic Health Records systems can help medical organizations solve their everyday data-related problems. Still, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution that magically changes the workflow after installation.

When used correctly, Electronic Health Records software has the potential to improve processes, increase efficiency, reduce errors, and ultimately lead to higher patient care quality. However, incorrectly used EHR systems can hinder workflow and lead to costly errors. Therefore, it is crucial to train employees on how to properly use the software and regularly update it to reflect the latest industry standards.

The Future of Healthcare: Electronic Health Records Software

There is no turning back from the digital world; healthcare providers must adapt to offer proper care. Implementing Electronic Health Records is not a mere trend among electronically inclined tech enthusiasts—it is a solution to problems that have haunted the medical sector for years. Using what is now widely available to improve processes and streamline work seems like the only logical choice, and those equipped with modern solutions will be able to better serve their patients and fulfill their role as reliable healthcare providers.

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