EHR systems did not appear overnight. Since the Institute of Medicine’s strong endorsement of computerized medical records in 1991, developers and providers have worked closely to employ the use of information technology to improve patient care. Modern applications like today’s integrated and robust EHR systems is simply an extension of this idea that technology can help us better serve patients. Nonetheless, it’s not uncommon for administrators and providers to find themselves frustrated at the perceived distance between the realities of EHRs and their goals for practice workflow and patient care.
Improve Patient Care With EHR
It is easy to lose sight of the purpose of an EHR system. For example, a common complaint is feeling like EHR implementation means staring at a computer and not at patients.
But, it’s important to remember both the end-goal of EHRs (excellent patient care)as well as effective implementation strategies to maintain the best practices of accurate documentation methods and good bedside manner while still adhering.
EHRs have demonstrated incredible strides in patient safety and continuity of care and have proven themselves worth the investment for even the smallest medical practice.
It’s an exciting time for the electronic records industry. Part of this is due to the years of valuable data to which we now have access – data which has shaped HIPAA, Meaningful Use, and ultimately, the quality of patient care. EHR systems have contributed to increased data accuracy such as patient history, medications, CPOE processes, and more. And for chart access and patient report maintenance, research shows that not only do EHR systems support the accuracy of these activities, but also the speed of completion in a clinical environment.
In addition, patient record software systems’ ability to interface with clinical tools have generated huge improvements in health outcomes, for example,drug interaction alerts via data sharing between an EHR system and an electronic prescription system. And patients are responding positively, too. In fact, patients are beginning to associate EMR use with higher-quality healthcare and perceived increased value with the use of electronic records systems.
It may seem obvious, but an EHR system can only be a useful tool for improving patient care if all of its users are invested. Success requires the commitment of physicians, nurses, technicians, billing and front desk staff, administrators, and everyone in between. This can take patience. Research indicates that it can take up to a year for physicians in primary care to report increased efficiency, communication, and overall clinical quality as a result of the implementation of an electronic health records system. But commitment throughout the stages of implementation and optimization can help ensure the very best functionality of a health records system, provide the best ROI for the organization, and result in the best possible patient care.
At ZH Healthcare, we understand that sometimes, it can be difficult to maintain focus on the goal of exceptional patient care while navigating all the complexities of a new EHR system. This is why we are committed to supporting you and your practice every step of the way to achieve your goals, and in the end, superior care for your patients. Contact us today to learn more about our HITaaS (Health IT as a Service) systems, and see what we can do for your patients.