Electronic health records have plenty of advantages over traditional paper-based varieties. With EHRs' ability to collect vast amounts of information in one place and their improved accuracy, patient care can drastically improve in quality. Hospitals and researchers are finding the quality leap after their adoption is only growing.
EHRs can improve patient care
The Loyola University Health System recently became one of the first in Louisiana to develop and adopt electronic health records, sharing information with outside providers and local doctors simultaneously. The university has found that in the adoption of these storage means, patient care quality may be able to take a leap, while the number of tests and forms necessary in such levels of care will drop at the same time.
One of the biggest benefits of EHRs is that they allow the health system to collect a large amount of patient information, which will be contained in one specific file for easier access. The information included can help shed light on patient allergies, medications, immunizations and undergone procedures, just as some examples. Having this information on hand can ease the needs of patients everywhere.
Another benefit found in the adoption of the technology is that doctors have much faster access to medical histories, which can be key in the event that a quick diagnosis is needed.
Outpatient costs can drop
The improvements seen in the adoption of this technology go further than just improving patient care. The Berkeley School of Information recently published a study that looked into the benefits of adopting electronic health records. From the beginning, it was determined that electronic health records could reduce outpatient care costs by at least 3 percent. More information found that they also reduce populations being cared for in hospitals.
When examining the care of patients with diabetes mellitus, researchers found that out of 1,000 patients, there were 29 fewer emergency department visits and 13 fewer hospitalizations annually. Other research found that Canadian care redundancies were reduced to the tune of more than $500,000 per year as duplicate tests and adverse drug reactions were increasingly prevented.
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