What is EHR?
EHR stands for Electronic Health Record and this refers to computerization of medical records for all patients. Some call it EMR or Electronic Medical Record and its basic intention is for easy integration of medical information between various health providers.
The whole concept of computerizing medical records involves making all data across all health care systems in digital format for easy integration to a central network. With this medical data network, all healthcare providers will be able to access important medical information. Patient data included in this centralized form of database may include medical history, drugs prescribed and taken, allergic reactions, laboratory test results, immunizations, x-rays and other radiology scans, vital signs, patient’s personal information, and even hospital billing details. With all these details digitized and accessible by various healthcare providers, more efficiency will result in terms of health management.
There are various advantages to implementing EHR systems in hospitals and various healthcare facilities. One such advantage is the improvement in the quality of care for patients. With medical records readily available, less medical errors may result. A particular doctor will be guided in making decisions regarding a patient’s medications and treatment if all the records regarding his previous medication, history, and allergic reactions are easily accessible. Having HER systems will also help in research as data would be easily consolidated from different sources.
But despite the advantages of setting up an Electronic Health Record or EHR system and the government’s push to have this system implemented, many hospitals and health care facilities are still not willing to spend for this project. Converting from paper-based records system to computerization will mean quite a big investment which some hospitals and healthcare providers are not willing to take. Some doctors also have some resistance to learning new technology in accessing their patients’ medical records.