With the advancement of technologies in all spheres of human life, the integration of digital information processing has become an inevitable element of the healthcare system. Electronic health records have been implemented and kept in hospitals to ensure better patient outcomes and more effective functioning. However, the partiality of implementation in some cases and the need for change in the conventional data processing methods posed some challenges in promoting electronic health records (Wani & Malhotra, 2018). Nonetheless, evidence and statistical data demonstrate the significant benefits of using electronic health records in medical institutions. This paper explores these benefits to support the claim that electronic health record implementation is inevitable in modern health care.
Benefits of Electronic Health Records
Firstly, the benefit of using electronic health records is manifested in improving the efficiency and productivity of the medical personnel’s work. It is especially evident when fast but informed decisions should be made in critical situations. Indeed, fields outside the health care system, where electronic records and information technologies at large have been used, demonstrate the increase in efficiency of task completion related to customer services (Wani & Malhotra, 2018). Given that health care is one of the spheres where data processing is vital, the use of electronic health records is able to eliminate human error and ensure timely information access and analysis. Indeed, according to statistics, “there are currently about 13,600 diagnoses with 6000 drugs and 4000 procedures to treat these diagnoses” (Wani & Malhotra, 2018, p. 2). Thus, the integration of information technologies in the form of electronic health records makes health care a more efficient and productive field.
Secondly, the use of electronic health records has a significantly improved effect on patients’ health outcomes and the reduction of medical records. Indeed, as Kruse et al. (2018) state, the ability to use electronic health records to monitor predominant health issues in the population helps address tentative health problems through preventative and promotional activities. Moreover, research indicates that “regular use of the EHR can reduce fragmentation of data and increase continuity of care between providers if the providers participate in health information exchanges” (Kruse et al., 2018, p. 2). Indeed, 70% of factors that negatively impact health outcomes are those related to the failure to use electronic health records, namely missing data or insufficient productivity (Kruse et al., 2018). Another illustration of patient outcome improvement is the increase in the return on investment in hospitals adopting electronic health records. In particular, $53.7million of return on investment was obtained at the end of 2011, of which 29% … came from reduced length of stay and avoiding adverse drug events” (Wani & Malhotra, 2018, p. 13). Such results were achieved due to the use of electronic health records.
In conclusion, the discussion of the benefits of keeping electronic health records in medical institutions has demonstrated that such an initiative is worthwhile. The validation of the positive outcomes and the necessity of electronic health records is two-fold. Namely, the benefits include improved efficiency and accuracy in the delivery of healthcare and the improvement of the population’s health due to general data surveillance and effective disease management. Thus, it is imperative for modern healthcare organizations to invest in proper software to enable the adequate functioning of electronic health records and their processing. It will increase organizational efficiency and productivity and improve patients’ health outcomes, wellness, and longevity.
Kruse, C. S., Stein, A., Thomas, H., & Kaur, H. (2018). The use of electronic health records to support population health: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of medical systems, 42(11), 1-16. Web.
Wani, D., & Malhotra, M. (2018). Does the meaningful use of electronic health records improve patient outcomes? Journal of Operations Management, 60, 1–18.