How good Electronic Charting Systems help healthcare providers deliver better results for their patients

Maintaining patient medical charts is an integral aspect of working as a healthcare professional. In recent years, the number of practices and practitioners that use healthcare software to document their patient charts has steadily increased.

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An overview on electronic charting systems in healthcare

An overview on electronic charting systems in healthcare

Maintaining patient medical charts is an integral aspect of working as a healthcare professional. In recent years, the number of practices and practitioners that use healthcare software to document their patient charts has steadily increased. Electronic charting systems reduce the number of errors and areas of absent information that are often present in pen and paper charts. Medical charting/EMR software also increases the efficiency of a practice’s production of patient records, enabling ease of access and greater accuracy. Typically, a patient record will contain all of the relevant information pertaining to an individual’s health, including demographics, medications, allergies, history, and habits. The importance of maintaining accurate and up-to-date charts should not be underestimated, given the critical role they play in a practitioner’s decision-making. Using electronic charting systems means all of a patient’s medical information exists on a single platform and can be accessed by various healthcare providers, enabling improved continuity of care. These systems are modified in real-time, meaning that any changes made can be viewed by all authorized users, streamlining the communication process and ensuring everyone is kept up to date.

What information is included in a medical chart?

The information that is included within a medical chart will depend on the specific medical history of an individual. Nevertheless, some of the most important and frequently present information within a medical chart includes:

  • Demographics: Any type of personal identification information, including name, age, date of birth, and contact information. 
  • Medications: To help ensure physicians make the best decisions, the medications (past and present) that an individual has taken are included within their medical record.
  • Allergies: Knowing a patient’s allergies is critical to providing a high quality of care and guaranteeing the patient’s safety. 
  • History: The patient’s history, relating to their family and their health. This can also include any past surgeries or medical treatments. 
  • Immunization: The patient’s vaccine records. 
  • Habits: The habits of an individual are concerned with the lifestyle of the patient, including smoking, drinking, sexual history, and employment. This type of information is highly subjective and is included to help inform the physician of the best way to treat a patient. 

Given how much information can be included within a medical record, implementing sophisticated software for healthcare teams is the perfect way to guarantee your records are accurate and up-to-date.

What information is included in a medical chart?
Role of electronic health records in providing better results for patients

Role of electronic health records in providing better results for patients

The advantages of implementing an EHR system into your healthcare practice will impact both you and your patients. With a sophisticated online platform, you will no longer have to navigate your way around overflowing cabinets crammed with patient files. Instead, all of the information you could ever need is stored in one single, secure place. Read on to identify some of the promising benefits offered by EHR systems:

  • Accuracy: Whilst pen and paper records are prone to spelling mistakes and illegibility, EHR systems can facilitate highly accurate record-keeping. Most systems will automatically notify the authorized users if they detect a mistake, allowing patient charts to be almost guaranteed error-free.
  • Improved quality of care: Alongside the reduction in mistakes is the improved quality of patient care. Physicians have 24/7 access to their patient’s medical history, including medications and allergies, reducing the risk of errors arising out of misinformation. EHRs allow physicians to make fully informed decisions regarding treatment and diagnosis, facilitating an overall improved quality of care.
  • Communication: Real-time settings guarantee that any provider, regardless of where they are, can have immediate access to the most up-to-date version of a patient’s records. Not only does this ensure that colleagues and coworkers are kept informed, but it allows for greatly improved continuity of care.
  • Time: The clinical documentation process can take up a significant portion of a physician’s day, especially if you handwrite your notes. EHR systems effectively reduce the time you spend writing records and can be accessed with the simple pressing of a few keys. With the time that has been saved, physicians will be able to spend less time completing administrative tasks, and more time seeing patients!
  • Resources: As well as time, your practice will also save resources. Paper forms, filing cabinets, folders, and printing ink are no longer necessities. The money and space freed from removing this equipment can instead be spent on more medical supplies. 
  • Money: Financial gains are another incentive for healthcare businesses to implement EHR systems. Not only will you save money on resources, but you will be able to cut down on labor costs. Administrative tasks like calling and emailing patients with appointment/invoice reminders are no longer required, and the actual documentation process will be streamlined with different note templates. Furthermore, EHR systems cater to Medicare and Medicaid guidelines to help ensure your practice will be efficiently reimbursed. 
  • Patient involvement: It is becoming increasingly common for patients to want to play a more significant role in their own treatment. EHR systems are usually integrated with a patient portal that grants clients access to their own documents, as well as appointment and invoice information. These features eliminate the need for patients to access their records through a third-party staff member, empowering them to be involved in the management of their own health. Portals also provide a direct line of communication between the physician and patient, helping make the treatment process as transparent as possible.

Key benefits of EHR for healthcare providers

Not only do EHRs benefit patients and businesses, but they also have significant advantages for individual healthcare providers.

  • Staying up to date: Managing a patient’s medical records can be stressful, particularly if the client is receiving treatment or care from multiple providers. As I’m sure you know, locating relevant medication, allergy and past treatment information in hard-copy files can waste valuable time. Not only do EHR systems guarantee that all relevant information exists in a single place, but that all of the information is up-to-date.
  • Automated reminders: EHR systems are usually integrated with various features, including a patient portal and appointment reminders. Generating automated reminders can decrease the number of no-shows you experience, improving the efficiency of your practice.
  • Cloud-technology: The best EHR systems store their data using cloud-based technology. This means that authorized users only require access to a computer and internet connection to be able to view the EHR. Cloud-based technology also enables real-time modifications, guaranteeing that all necessary personnel are up-to-date.
  • Less paperwork: An obvious but rewarding benefit of EHR systems is the reduction in the paperwork required by healthcare providers. Gone are the days of staying late on weekday afternoons catching up on notes!

Satisfaction with EHR systems grows among physicians

As the use of EHR systems steadily increases in healthcare businesses, we are also seeing a growing rise in physician satisfaction. There is a prominent commentary on the improved connection between patients and physicians, and how this relationship is becoming stronger and more meaningful. The general trend of EHR satisfaction is indicative of EHRs fast replacing the traditional method of clinical documentation, however, there are a few things to keep in mind. Physician satisfaction is dependent on how the EHR is being applied in your practice. Some of the most beneficial aspects of an EHR are how the system improves the quality of care, whether it is being used in a meaningful way if it contains a patient portal and access to both clinical and technical support. The best EHR systems are highly interoperable and will allow your practice to streamline various tasks, saving you time and money whilst improving high-quality care. 

Further Reading: 

Key benefits of EHR for healthcare providers

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