How a Medical Information System Improves Healthcare Efficiency
Implementing a medical information system can help improve the care patients receive. Here’s how a health information exchange improves medical efficiency.
Over 96 percent of all reported hospitals in the US has a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology.
With the increasing number of patients in hospitals, paper-based or chart medical records are becoming hard to manage. Plus, they’re vulnerable to different risks, such as getting lost, misplaced or torn. This has resulted in reduced productivity, which has caused healthcare facilities and centers billions of dollars.
As a solution, health IT has made it possible for hospitals and healthcare providers to manage their patients’ records through a medical information system, popularly known as Electronic Health Record system.
Read on to learn how this system is improving healthcare efficiency.
1. Track Data Overtime
With an EHR system, physicians get a comprehensive view of their patient’s data than paper records. This data provides them all the details they need to diagnose and evaluate conditions based on a patient’s health history and past treatments.
The system stores the patients’ data in an electronic format, which doctors can retrieve easily whenever they are diagnosing patients. This provision is particularly important when managing out-patients who visit a hospital for on-going treatments.
A patient’s medical stored together with other details, such as age, gender, and prescriptions. With this ease in accessibility of patients’ records, it’s feasible to deliver quality healthcare services every time.
2. Timely Healthcare Services
Paper records required doctors to search through shelves and files to locate a patient’s record. Flipping through pages of patients’ with extensive medical history also proved to be time-consumed. In this case, it’s hards for medical providers to manage emergency cases properly.
This is something that a medical information system has eliminated. EHRs provide instant access to all the patient’s data, allowing physicians to render timely healthcare services, even during a crisis. They can know a patient’s prescriptions and allergies to speed up decision making.
As such, this eliminates the need for regular medical tests every time a patient visits a doctor.
3. Eliminate Potential Conflicts
Paper records are prone to conflicts and confusion that arise due to poor filing and illegible notes. This has seen some patients getting wrong prescriptions or misdiagnosed.
With a medical information system, some of these conflicts can be avoided. Doctors use unique identifiers to store patient data, and this eliminates the problem of poor filing. Some EHRs have a warning system that notifies the doctor when they prescribe medication that could interact with something that a patient is already using.
Improved monitoring of prescriptions reduces the scope for error and leads to better use of medicines.
4. Enhanced Data Privacy and Security
Some comprehensive EHRs, especially those used by large healthcare facilities, tend to have clearance levels. This has become increasingly important with the strict HITECH and HIPAA data security requirements. The good thing is that a good EMR system can help you stay compliant.
With an EHR, you can strengthen data security setting a strict data architecture model, which is based on clearance levels and roles. Also, you can limit access to data to only protected devices in your facility. It’s also advisable to encourage doctors and nurses to use strong passwords, which they need to change often.
In addition to these measures, regular penetration testing and risk-assessments can go a long way in securing your medical records.
5. Reduced Costs
A medical information system has reduced the extensive paperwork and filing in paper-based records. This means facilities do not need to budget for papers and files for patients’ records. Improved medical data safety also means hospitals have few cases to deal with thus less legal expenses and other related costs.
With the system, it’s easier to maintain the inventory of the hospital supplies. This makes it easier to control your costs since you can monitor the use of different suppliers and make informed decisions on purchases and orders.
Additionally, an EHR automates several processes in a hospital. This means it eliminates the need for additional staff. Also, your team can now focus on improving healthcare efficiency.
6. Improved Efficiency
Once you have implemented, it’s highly likely that you’ll experience less of adversities, such as data duplication, missing records, wrong entries, and delays. You’re able to improve your facility’s productivity as your data is well-organized.
This medical efficiency is rewarding across all your departments as it bolsters coordination all the way from patient registration, diagnosis to billing. Easy access to medical data helps in formulating diets for patients and distribution of medical aid.
Additionally, health information exchange is easier with EHRs than in the past. For example, when a patient is being referred to a specialist, another hospital or getting admitted to a nursing home, it’s easier to share their records to ensure consistency in health care delivery.
7. Enhanced Patient Monitoring
A medical information system makes an ideal option for managing patients suffering from conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. You can easily measure how they measure up to specific parameters, such as blood pressure readers and vaccinations, over time.
It’s also easy to monitor and manage patients who are due for screenings, medical tests, and preventive visits. The EMS also stored all the results of the medical tests a patient has ever had. This reduces repeat tests, especially those that are considered risky.
Some systems come with a barcode verification system that checks all medications to confirm the brand name and dosage information of prescription drugs. This helps doctors to avoid prescribing wrong medications for certain health conditions.
Medical Information System – The Takeaway
The truth is, EHRs have helped to improve healthcare efficiency in many ways. However, a medical information system, on its own, cannot ensure patients will have access to the best treatment. As such, it helps to choose a system that best suits your facility’s needs.
There are different EHRs out there, and some of them might be too large or small for you. Plus, you need to look at the specific features and integration capabilities a particular system offers.
Whatever the case, we’re always here if you need any kind of help with EHRs. Feel free to contact us, and we’ll get back to you soon.