EHRs are essential to increasing the quality of health care and improving patient safety. The benefits of EHRs range from information integration to increased efficiency of clinical processes. These benefits impact patients, physicians and the medical community as a whole:
Patients – EHRs give health care providers the tools they need to ensure patients receive the most timely, appropriate and efficient medical care possible, therefore reducing medical errors and duplication of services. These tools include drug information, patient history, clinical guidelines and screening recommendations. EHRs increase screening and preventive care and reduce complications, including drug errors.
Physicians – Physician offices that incorporate Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems into their daily practice are able to integrate health information, clinical knowledge and patient resources at the office-based point of care. All of this information is housed in an EHR. Evidence-based guidelines can be rapidly incorporated, along with recommendations and guidelines as they are issued.
Medical Community – Transactions between the office-based environment and other sources of health information, such as pharmacies and laboratories, are efficient and secure with EHRs.
As the healthcare industry and the general population move toward a largely electronic era of communication, the use of modern health technology, such as electronic health records, is essential to the future of medicine.