How is an Electronic Health Record Defined?
For all of the talk about electronic health records (EHR), it is hard to believe that some people, including many in the medical field, are still unsure of what these records are and how they are used.
In short, an electronic health record is nothing more than a digital version of a patient’s paper medical chart. For many years, paper charts were the only thing that medical facilities used. However, as of late, the trend of switching to electronic health records has picked up steam.
HealthIT.gov shares the following in regards to a standard definition:
“EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care.”
Some of the many powers of electronic health records include:
- Ability to automate workflow, saving employees time and medical facilities money.
- Contain a variety of information, including but not limited to medical history, treatment plans, medications, radiology images, allergies, and test results.
- Provide access to evidence-based tools so that medical providers can make the best decisions regarding a patient’s care.
In the past, sharing health records was a challenge. With an electronic system, this is no longer the case. Digital formatting allows for the efficient sharing of records with other providers, even those associated with a different organization.
As a medical provider, it is important to understand how electronic health records can change your day to day system for the better.
As a patient, all you need to know is that electronic health records have been proven effective in increasing the overall level of care.