Electronic health records have plenty of advantages over traditional record-keeping systems. The possibility of a misdiagnosis or an unreadable transcript declines precipitously, as do costs, while patient health can see notable benefits. Implementing the technology in any medical business can lead to widespread improvements.

Cuts costs, improves healthy living
The Motley Fool reported that as electronic health records are expected to grow at a pace beyond 5 percent per year until 2022, the cost benefits of adding them can be just as lucrative. A single hospital system can save between $37 million and $59 million over a five-year period with the technology, the news source said, due to decreased billing expenses, insurance premiums and government spending on public health.

The records have also been shown to allow for improved knowledge and communication for patients. Those who have diabetes or are obese, for example, will soon be able to use wearable technology that syncs directly with their records, giving doctors a clear way to get up-to-date information without needing to worry about frequent or expensive checkups, the news source said.

Personalized care is also expected to see new growth, as the health records provide a shortened and shareable format of a patient's history over time. Doctors examining the information will only need to glance at a patient's needs before determining the exact care they'll require. Over time, as the records accumulate, they may even point to future health problems before they become problematic.

Can simplify drug trials
Researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered that the records can also work to simplify drug trials. A program that was put into place during 23 general practitioner surgeries and trials was able to determine which patients were eligible for a specific trial in mere minutes, and allowed doctors to sign up their participants with a single click of a button. By studying the records, researchers are expected to be able to understand major health issues in relation to specific medications, and they may be able to involve more diverse members of the public in the future. Over time, this would help improve the overall effectiveness of many medications.

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