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May 5, 2019

Electronic Health Records (EHR): How to Talk to Your Doctor

Electronic Health Records (EHR): How to Talk to Your Doctor

There was a time when medical records were mainly stored manually in the various health centers. What this meant is that when you visited your doctor, you were likely to see huge and extensive filing cabinets of that were full of patient’s health records, all of which were hand written. This has since changed as technology has advanced as it has now become prudent to switch from this way of information storage to an electric way of doing things and thus enter electronic health records. Health records, in a nutshell, contain the personal information of a patient, their treatment plans, lab results, any consults they may have had among many other useful data. It is therefore very important, and given that hand-writing them was open to errors, especially grammatically, which could consequently lead to problems interpreting the information, hand written records could sometimes be problematic. This is without mentioning the fact that most doctors, stereotype or not, have very poor handwritings which would also make it difficult to interpret most records.  This is why the switch to electronic health records is so important, and why it is important to examine this system, and how it is beneficial to both doctors and patients.

Electronic health records are basically systems that allow for the input and storage of key patient information such as their test results, plan care, any medications they are to take among many others, electronically. In most hospitals it is done through the use of mobile laptops and as such it allows medical professionals to be able to produce the medical records of specific patients, as and when they are needed, as is covered in detail over at frontlineer.com. This means that when you are talking to your doctor, you can be sure that the information you enter is less likely to be lost, as information is now stored using cloud storage. Electronic health records also allow for the easy sharing of information between different health care providers and organizations. This means if you switch doctors, you can have your records from the previous hospital provided to your new doctor much more efficiently which helps improve the safety of patients as well as making the whole process much more efficient.

Another advantage of making use of electronic health records is about the crucial role they play as far as automated drug interaction analysis is concerned. For patients that are taking multiple types of drugs, sometimes different drugs may interact and lead to side effects that can be potentially life-threatening. This is especially true for those taking antibiotics as well as pain killing medication. EHRs enable physicians to keep track of all medication one is taking much more easily and thus are able to determine potential pitfalls as far as drug interactions are concerned and stop them. It is therefore important as you talk to you doctor, make them aware of all the medications you are taking, as per the folks over at frontlineer.com. This ensures that if the prescribe any new medication, they are able to do so in a manner that prevents any serious drug interactions. EHRs also improve the likelihood of errors being made when records are being entered, which is something that is highly likely when records are handwritten. It is thus important to be clear and precise when talking to your doctor to ensure that whatever it is that is entered is the right thing. EHRs also greatly reduce the risk of one confusing another patient’s results as belonging to another patient as it enables the adding of results automatically to the electronic health record of the patient.

The fact that there very strong protocols guiding the security and privacy of health records is another counter on its pros list. These standards and protocols are set by the government and are aimed in ensuring that there is absolute privacy as far as patients’ records are concerned, especially when it comes to their release to third parties. However, as is noted in discussions over at frontlineer.com, the spread of EHRs is not happening as quickly as one would expect given their benefits. This is because there are a number of barriers that may have prevented them from being implemented much more widely. Some of these barriers include the cost implications of implementing HER systems, which most hospitals argue doesn’t come with a significant enough return on investment. Another barrier in the way of implementing of HER systems is the lack of resources that will allow for implementation and support of such systems. some hospitals also worry that they may implement particular systems, which may end up being obsolete after sometime, something that may have hindered their implementation. 

However, regardless how you look at it, EHRs have so many benefits especially when it comes to the safety of patients that it is hard to argue against their implementation. There is more to be found on this topic by checking out frontlineer.com.

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