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The Future Of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) And Their Impact On Patient Care
Digital Healthcare

The Future Of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) And Their Impact On Patient Care

By Priyobroto April 18, 2023 - 1,084 views

Electronic health records (EHRs) have stolen a march over not just conventional paper-based records, but also electronic medical records or EMRs in several ways. The EMR vs. EHR debate can be put to rest with reports by Grand View Research that indicate how the global EHR market has achieved a valuation of $28.1 billion in 2022, with expectations of it touching $38.5 billion by 2030, growing by 4% (CAGR-compounded annual growth rate).

EHR implementation has become a foundational activity for healthcare players, functioning as digital or electronic patient records, including all vital data from notes and prescribed medicines to the history of symptoms and vital signs, radiology reports, lab information, and a lot more.

The entire clinical history of a patient is comprehensively held in EHRs while they also enable better optimisation and automation of workflows for healthcare providers, thereby contributing towards improved patient care at multiple levels. They also enable easier access to evidence-based tools for providers to come up with specific recommendations for patient care, which is another plus point to be noted in this context.

Deloitte reports state that factors like the interoperability of data, data-sharing, and growing consumerism will fuel a transformation of the healthcare sector by 2030, with electronic health records (EHRs) becoming key catalysts of this change.

The industry is now transitioning towards a more value-based model of patient care, with specific requirements for suitable EHRs from this perspective. Here are some additional points that you should also keep in mind: 

  • EMRs have a common issue, i.e. their issues in integration with other kinds of systems. EMRs are not conventionally interoperable in a manner of speaking. Hence, those seeking interoperability will naturally gravitate more towards electronic health records (EHRs.)
  • Digitisation of patient information is now a key objective for most healthcare providers, which will naturally herald a paradigm shift in the higher adoption of EHRs. 
  • EHR features are also perceived as being vital for boosting the overall efficacy of medical care systems. Several reports predict how the market will peak in 2023 at a whopping $30.4 billion, which indicates a 4% growth in comparison to 2017. 
  • EHR implementation will naturally benefit healthcare providers and patients alike, with its user-friendliness, easy access to data, and support for existing healthcare workflows. 
  • EHRs can streamline the overall data entry process by tapping machine learning and artificial intelligence. Providers can considerably lower manual operations with EHR-based automation and charting via templates that are customisable. 
  • EHRs will be easily interoperable and can be integrated with several existing processes such as billings, claims processing, scheduling, and integration with lab software tools. This will enable two-way patient data and result sharing. 
  • EHR software will help doctors access all prescribed medications of patients while tracking and recording the medication history, enabling higher visibility into the entire scope of treatment.  This will boost patient care through better medication management and lower the chances of errors due to lack of understanding or ineligible handwriting. 
  • EHRs will lower the requirement for manual data retrieval and medical research can be readily availed upon demand through a portal for patients which may be accessed directly. Easier access encourages patients to have higher involvement in their healthcare journeys, thereby enhancing medical results/outcomes. 

Future EHR Trends

Here are a few future trends related to electronic health records (EHRs) that should be noted: 

  • Healthcare players will harness accelerated methodologies for deployment in a bid to save money and lower the costs of implementation. 
  • EHR cycle times will be lowered further, enabling continual delivery of all necessary operations for clients. This will also lower feedback in the risks and return category better. 
  • More app extensions will enable higher interoperability while enabling quick deployment of independent solutions to be integrated into the EHR-based systems. 
  • EHR systems will steadily transition into extensive platforms for digital health. They will enable customisable experiences for users. 
  • Language processing and voice assistance will further streamline entry and searches for records. 
  • Patient care will be boosted through easier accessibility and shorter time per patient while boosting patient data accuracy to lowering errors. Interoperability will enable quicker and better patient care and decision-making by healthcare providers. 
  • Telehealth platforms can be combined with EHRs for launching services and maintaining or tracking records. 
  • Patient care mechanisms will be further boosted through more intuitive interfaces and visualising patient ailment history better. 
  • Empathetic and helpful Chatbots could also be integrated into these platforms for enabling easier accessibility and solutions for both patients and healthcare providers. 

It is pertinent to note that EHRs will play a vital role in lowering the time for documenting and maintaining patient records. They will also enable quicker and easier access to entire medical records and the history of patients while enabling quicker decision-making and personalised recommendations for improved patient care. They will also help boost relationships between patients and providers due to this personalised approach and easier access to entire interoperable data records and histories.

Participatory healthcare is the new buzzword today, where patients collaborate with their providers on their treatment journeys and decision-making. EHRs represent a pivotal step in enabling better outcomes for patients while offering clear benefits for the entire healthcare system at large.

FAQs

What are electronic health records (EHRs), and how do they differ from traditional paper-based records?

Electronic health records are digital forms of patient records and data. They are different from paper-based records which have limitations in terms of space and legibility. EHRs enable electronic data recording and full understanding while being encrypted for higher security, unlike paper records which are vulnerable to damages, theft, exposure, transcription, copying, faxing, and scanning.

How have EHRs evolved over time, and what are some of the latest trends in EHR technology?

EHRs have greatly evolved over time to include more efficient capturing of data while automating several data-gathering procedures alongside. Automation has also enabled easier searching mechanisms alongside. EHRs are witnessing several trends including better result management, voice assistance, cloud platforms, better interoperability across systems, patient support and resource mechanisms, and reporting functions.

What are some of the challenges associated with implementing EHR systems in healthcare organisations?

Some of the challenges include the implementation costs and resistance by healthcare personnel, along with the lack of proper digital training and knowledge. Training takes a lot of time, while data privacy and migration remain concerns as well.

How do EHRs enable collaboration between healthcare providers and improve care coordination?

EHRs enable better coordination and collaboration across healthcare providers for patient care and other purposes. It enhances patient care quality through interoperability and easy access to data across departments and healthcare providers. EHRs enable seamless access to patient records, enabling personalised recommendations and faster treatment decisions.

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