As technology continues to progress, EHRs, or electronic health records, are steadily becoming the norm within the health care industry. When compared to traditional paper medical records, there are several benefits of EHR. Some of these are easy accessibility, space saving efficiency, the ability to back up documents and quicker lab results. In addition, not using paper is one of the environmental benefits of EHR, because it saves trees.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of electronic health records is the ease of accessibility. With paper medical records, finding the correct patient's record can sometimes be a meticulous task that can take a considerable amount of time. Paper medical records are also subject to human error when being filed, and can potentially be lost or misplaced. On the other hand, EHRs can be accessed my multiple doctors in different clinics without the arduous task of physically searching for them. This makes it much easier for doctors to quickly get the vital information they need to treat their patients.
Another of the benefits of EHR is the space saving capability. Patients' paper files usually take up a significant amount of space. Larger institutions sometimes even designate an entire room to simply store the necessary documents. With EHRs, everything is filed electronically, which eliminates the need for cumbersome filing cabinets.
The ability to back up documents with EHRs is beneficial because it prevents important records from being lost or damaged. In the event of a disaster such as a fire or flood, there is less need to panic because all files can still be accessed. Inevitably, this eliminates frustration and ensures that patients receive the best care possible.
Quicker lab results are another of the benefits of EHR. Instead of relying upon traditional mail or faxing, many lab results can be returned to physicians as soon as they have been completed. This helps speed the entire process which reduces waiting periods. It also means that patients can receive their needed treatment or medicine sooner.
Besides the improved efficiency, there are also environmental benefits of EHR. The traditional way of keeping medical records involves using vast amounts of paper. Replacing the old method with EHRs is a simple way to save trees and reduce damage to the environment. As a result, the long-term impact on the planet is potentially monumental. Along with this, not using paper cuts back on costs, which helps reduce strain on a clinic's budget.