Electronic Health Records are an electronic description of patients’ healthcare information. EHRs are health records, managed by health providers in a digital format that can be shared among different healthcare stakeholders. Electronic health record has been a very slow adoption of fully integrated EHR systems in practice within hospitals. EHR automates access to clinical documentation, improves quality, coding, and billing, and makes health records portable. The key element of an electronic health record includes computerized physician order entry, clinical documentation, radiology systems, pharmacy systems, lab systems, and administrative functions. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is one such ONC policy that is integrated with EMR and boosts easy data access and sharing across platforms through API. FHIR EMR integration permits external entities to access information from providers. Implementation of software, hardware, and IT networks is important for a successful electronic health record project.
The Current Healthcare System in the USA
The USA healthcare system is a very complex mix of federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. There are many private insurance agencies that have their own rules and regulations, and healthcare records get complicated. Hospital managers play a vital role in advancing the objectives of the healthcare system, directing and supervising human resources, as well as ensuring the quality of care and the security of hospitals.
EHRs are poised to change and revolutionize the current healthcare system in the United States.
It is important to opt for a certified EHR over a non certified one.
Certified EHRs meet all the security requirements set by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Set up requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health data.
Let’s have a look at two common types of implementations for EHR systems
Local/in-house (Application deployed on local servers)
Data is kept within the organization
Can work without an internet connection
More dependent (software license fees, IT support, maintenance, updates)
Utilizing a proper implementation strategy for a new EHR system can facilitate success, increase healthcare workers’ satisfaction, and reduce delays. The first strategy is to have a hospital’s IT staff develop and write their own electronic health record (EMR) software systems. Many hospitals have proprietary hospital information legacy systems that were developed on their own.
The second strategy is to purchase ready-to-use software packages and customize them as per their requirement.
The healthcare IT industry stands at the threshold of one of the biggest revolutionary changes in healthcare practice in modern times. EHR technologies stand to modify healthcare for the better. If EHR technologies are embraced and the proper software, hardware, and IT infrastructure are put in place, the healthcare industry will stand to benefit greatly. It will increase both patient quality and health outcomes. It can increase the healthcare facility’s bottom line and bend the cost curve of the rising national cost of healthcare.