Electronic health records can be a useful function that can improve the health of the whole population. Electronic copies of documents are more comfortable to handle and allow the medical professionals dispersed in time and locations to get access to the same data. That is why it is important that medical professionals used it. However, there are certain shortcomings of the system that are described below. In general, electronic health record system is an efficient solution that allows to prevent multiple diseases and to increase collaboration between health professionals.
Advantages of Electronic Health Record Systems
Electronic health records make the processes of data collection and sharing it between different organizations easier. First of all, it improves surveillance and reporting on the issues of public health. With the help of immunization registries, syndromic surveillance data submission, and electronic laboratory reporting the information can be transmitted to public health officials. A larger amount of data on the diseases allows the medical professionals to prevent, manage, and monitor them. For example, in New York clinicians receive the information on public health alerts via special program (HealthIt, 2019). Thus, electronic health records can help to prevent and monitor a wide number of diseases through sharing and storing information.
Electronic health records allow to better understand patient’s needs. Consequently, medical professionals can offer the patients a better care if they look at the needs of the patients more meaningfully. For example, electronic health records can remind whether a patient needs immunization. Besides, an EHS can remind about the need of follow-up or preventive care and to give the medical professionals access to medical protocols. Moreover, electronic health records allow to expand communication between public health officials and health care providers (HealthIt, 2019). Such collaboration between medical professionals reflects positively on the health system.
There are examples of successful functioning of electronic health record systems that allowed to prevent multiple diseases. As long as diagnostic errors are the main reason of death in the United States, estimated by around 40,000—80,000 deaths annually, an EHS can help to improve the situation (Graber & Byrne, 2018). Rajeevan et al. (2018) describe a successful implementation of EHS in the US Veterans Administration. The system allowed to improve the choice of medications for patients and supported real-time transactions between the patient and the clinic.
However, there can occur some difficulties during integration an Electronic Health Record system into the system of a particular medical facility. First of all, it is connected with the fact that many medical professionals do not have enough knowledge in such systems. They are not experts in the field of selection of EHR and their integration with information and technology system of the clinic (HealthIt, 2018). Besides, there is a need to spend time and resources on negotiating a contract and selection of the right system that would suit the facility. It can prevent medical professionals from installing an EHS. Finally, the system should be used meaningfully, which means that all the medical professionals that work with this system should provide data in a timely manner.
Thus, electronic health systems are an effective tool that improves collaboration between medical professionals. EHS allow to prevent diseases, since they help to avoid diagnostic errors and to better understand patients’ needs. Despite certain shortcomings such as lack of skills of working with such systems, they can be a useful instrument for providers of medical services. Meaningful usage is the key to successful application of EHS in practice.
Graber, M. L., Byrne, C., & Johnston, D. (2017). The impact of electronic health records on diagnosis. Diagnosis (Berlin, Germany), 4(4), 211–223. Web.
HealthIt. (2019). How can electronic health records improve public and population health outcomes? Web.
HealthIt. (2018). Reducing Vaccine Preventable Disease through Immunization Registries. Web.
Rajeevan, N., Niehoff, K. M., Charpentier, P., Levin, F. L., Justice, A., Brandt, C. A., Fried, T. R., & Miller, P. L. (2017). Utilizing patient data from the veterans administration electronic health record to support web-based clinical decision support: Informatics challenges and issues from three clinical domains. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 17(1), 111. Web.