What are Electronic Health Records and Why you need them?
The IT industry has a notorious Midas touch. Every sector that has incorporated IT has transformed into gold. After banking, hospitality and communication, it is time for health care to ride this wave with EHR.
What EHR Can do for Healthcare?
Information Technology could drastically change the way our healthcare providers reach out to us with their services. In the world of paper-based practice, information is often lost between illegible abbreviations, misplaced documents and incomplete entries.
More often than not, your endocrinologist has no idea what your gynaecologist has prescribed to you or that suffer from a correlated condition. It is important for your physicians to know your co-morbid conditions as well as a complete history of the medicine you are on or were on in the near past. This helps avoid untoward adverse effects and even predicting any possible danger your health may be in.
When all of your physicians have a 360 view of your health, you will assure of
- Reduced healthcare expenditures on unnecessary tests
- Repeated procedures and all the other unnoticed minor expenses
Taking all of your physician's consultation room data and storing it in the cloud. Thereby giving due access to your other healthcare providers, payers and you, promptly any time they are needed.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) can significantly reduce the paperwork you have to deal with when accessing healthcare. Even the number of hands your documents change in a paper based bureaucratic set up will be eliminated. Since EHR gives secure access to your information only to parties who need them to benefit you.
Electronic Health Records for the Community:
Electronic Health Records not only benefits you as an individual but the whole community and country at large.
Currently, all the data a doctor physically writes into his prescription pad and hands over to you is lost forever. There is a very little analysis of this information to determine trends in which therapy gives the best outcome, how a certain population group is affected by certain drugs or how many patients are suffering from a particular ailment at a current point of time and what can be done to control this.
An electronic version of all of this data would help healthcare professionals, higher authorities analyse trends and make effective decisions for the betterment of the entire population spectrum. Since your physicians would have quick, comprehensive access to all of your health records. It would enable them to understand your conditions, make decisions and execute treatment in a better manner.
In times of emergencies and crisis, your physician wouldn’t have to take major risks without knowing your full background. It would be available at their fingertips.
Electronic Health Records in India:
Integrating IT into healthcare is quite a challenging task in a country like India. With one of the poorest doctor to patient ratios in the world, our doctors had already forced to bit off more than they can chew.
Even though IT solutions like Electronic Health Records could really change the game in India. It is bizarre to expect doctors to adopt any system that would require them to put in more time than they already do.
Most physicians also complain that the current Electronic Health Record systems do not function in sync with their workflows. It is the major reason for physicians to stick to the conventional method of health charts.
The obvious solution then is to create Personal Health Records, where patients manage their own health information for a physician to access. Is it reasonable, though, to expect everyone of us to upload information from every prescription, every report we ever receive in order for our physician to have access to them? In an ideal world – maybe, but not in the 21st Century where any breathing space is precious time.
Successful Integration of EHR:
For any Electronic Health Record system to be truly effective and provide reliable information, it is imperative for the physician to use it in real time, while you are consulting with them.
It is important for all your records to update in one place, with minimal effort on you and your physician’s part. The system must comply with the physician’s workflow. It reduces the time they spend on recording all their observations and prescribing a treatment.
Therefore, every specialist needs a solution unique to their field. The expectations of a dentist are very different from that of a gynaecologist. Their practice is different, their requirements are different and therefore, the solution they need are very different.
An Electronic Health Record system designed with the consultation of a specialist, who can communicate the intricacies and requirements of the practice, is one set to succeed.