As the market for electronic health records around the world continues to rise, with market predictions finding newfound levels of growth expected in the next few years, health care providers may be looking for better means of controlling and ensuring the safety of their products. They'd be in luck, as the government recently released a new series of education factors to better preserve these systems.

According to Drug Store News, the market for electronic health and medical records is set to rapidly expand in the coming years, with peer group value estimated to rise at an annual compound growth rate of 9.8 percent. That would lead to overall growth from $10.6 billion in 2012 to as much as $17 billion in 2017.

This rapid growth is largely expected to be because of continued importance of incentives offered under the American Relief and Recovery Act of 2009. This gives providers extra benefits and reasons to turn their current systems, which may not be as strong or as easy to use as electronic systems, into a more modern version.

New guidelines and tools announced
However, these transitions can often see growing pains, as companies struggle to fully implement different approaches to the technology. The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that there are new guidelines and tools announced by the United States government meant to better help companies make an effective switch.

These so-called SAFER, or Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience, guides include self-assessment checklists and recommended practices in nine different areas, which include organizational responsibilities in implementation, patient identification means, clinical communication, review and follow-up for testing, and system configuration.

One key notice that businesses should keep in place is a contingency plan, according to the news source. If an EHR system unexpectedly shuts down, due to any number of problems, such a backup plan would ensure that there would be no major problems in any future implementations of the technology, allowing for little downtime. Healthcare providers are recommended to duplicate important hardware, prepare generators and fuel to support these systems, and if necessary, keep some paper plans in place, all meant to keep patients safe and taken care of in all situations.

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