Health facilities worldwide are in constant change to improve their services through electronic systems to enhance the quality of patient care. In the last forty years, hospitals have improvised their routines to integrate technology into their routine practice, eliminating nursing errors (4). An increase in the elderly population dramatically has improved over the years due to people’s healthy lifestyles. Hospitals use Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to virtually access the patient’s health records and recommend suitable drug regimens according to their medical history (5). This move helps to improve patient care in rural areas and reduce the number of people visiting hospitals for routine drugs. Full integration of EHRs countrywide will synchronize healthcare, therefore, allowing implementation of telehealth around the globe and improving nursing in rural areas.
Many older adults continually visit health centers to take their routine medications and nutritional supplements. However, studies show that many older people do not call for new diagnoses but for drugs that manage some chronic illnesses or boost their immune system (1). Additionally, many older people enroll in hospitals around big cities that they believe provide the best medical care. However, these visits create unnecessary congestion in hospitals and problems with transportation from their rural homes to the hospitals in the city. Therefore, proper integration of the EHRs will allow doctors to prescribe their medication from their offices in town to reduce congestion in hospitals (6). In addition, the use of electronic systems helps to ease traffic in the hospital because dispensation of drugs can occur at a remote place without physical contact.
Incorporating EHRs in many hospitals will reduce the number of older adults visiting a health facility, reduce congestion in hospitals, and allow telemedicine. For instance, the hospitals in the rural areas lack proper facilitation making them the last resort for patients. As a result, the integration of EHRs in the country will provide doctors with their patient’s history, allowing them to prescribe medication from their offices in town (1). Similarly, the nurses in rural areas can administer the drugs to the patients within a relatively shorter time. In addition, EHRs restore dormant hospitals that lack facilitation in rural areas by reducing their tasks to routine checks because doctors can prescribe drugs from a remote location and reduce traffic at the hospital.
Proper installation and synchronization of EHRs with the government systems will involve the participation of governments and the health sector and enhance quality health care. Hospitals and patients must agree to install the software and actively adhere to the recommendations for proper implementation of the program (6). Also, hospitals need consistent updates of their patient’s records for easy access by the doctors. Similarly, the governments need to work on a platform that allows the doctors to share their patient’s history with telehealth doctors who will share the same with nurses in rural areas to improve patient management (5). Proper communications will ensure that health professionals effectively synchronize data and improve healthcare.
The ministry of health needs to sensitize the health stakeholders on using EHRs to implement the program successfully. Community Health Volunteers (CHV) will explain to the elderly group in the rural areas the importance of having the platforms within their reach to receive their medications and the changes that impact the group (3). Hospital management will need to train their staff on effectively using EHRs to help their patients receive their medication on time. Additionally, all telehealth doctors will need to register themselves with the platform and declare their availability for treatment. Rural hospitals will require trained nurses who will execute doctors’ instructions for the proper management of their patients (4). Sensitizing the essential stakeholders will ensure that the program is successful and effective.
EHRs are expensive and difficult to use, and their implementation reduces doctors’ productivity since they deal with virtual patients. Doctors who consistently use EHRs lose essential practice skills that other doctors have, especially when dealing with emergencies (2). Also, EHRs use special training for nurses for their practical use, and most of them are expensive to purchase, install, and maintain in hospitals. Therefore, Governments should strike a good deal with the manufacturers to provide the software at a subsidized cost. Telehealth doctors would work in shifts to effectively practice medicine and protect their medical practice (2). EHRs require commitment from subsequent stakeholders to improve healthcare countrywide effectively.
The reduced number of older adults in hospitals in the city and distribution of the patients evenly in rural hospitals will be a clear indicator that EHRs implementation has been successful. Hospitals around the towns will have fewer patients who visit for a routine check-ups and picking drugs. Rural hospitals will receive proper facilitation for an HER platform, allowing patients to receive their regular treatments promptly (5). Studies show that a significant percentage of nursing errors occur due to overworking and tiredness (3). EHRs will reduce the workloads from city hospitals to rural hospitals or even home-based care for some patients.
The improvement of nursing around the globe depends on the complete integration and synchronization of EHRs in hospitals with the government health care goals. Older adults who receive routine check-ups do not need to queue in hospitals and congest facilities within the town for services that they can receive from their rural homes. Telehealth medicine is a trustable channel where patients receive their treatments from doctors online. However, its practical use needs full integration of EHRs so that doctors can access their patient’s records. Many hospitals have complained that the EHRs are expensive and are not easy to use compared to paper writing. Medical practice has changed over the years, and the health sector must accommodate these changes for better patient care in the future.
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