Why Electronic Health Records Are Better Than Traditional Paper Files
Electronic health records (EHRs) offer many advantages over traditional paper records in health care settings. While both approaches have their merits, it is imperative to note that many providers have shifted to the digital landscape. EHRs have become the preferred option for many healthcare providers for the following reasons.
- Availability and Accessibility:
EHRs are stored electronically and are accessible virtually anywhere with the proper authorization and Internet access. It ensures that healthcare providers can quickly access patient records in an emergency or working remotely.
On the other hand, paper records are confined to specific healthcare settings, which can cause delays in accessing important patient information.
- EHRs used for audit trails:
An EHR audit trail is a secure record keeping track of who viewed the file when it was viewed, where it was viewed, and whether any changes were made to the data, or it is nearly impossible to perform a paper-based analysis.
Paper files are still vulnerable to errors and changes, even if accounting methods were successfully developed for their use.
- Efficiency and time savings:
EHRs allow for rapid data capture and sharing. It saves time when visiting the patient, as healthcare providers can immediately access the patient’s complete medical history, lab results, and treatment plan.
Paper records require manual tracing, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors due to incorrect submissions or missing documents.
- Detailed and comprehensive documentation:
EHRs provide standardized templates and prompts that help healthcare professionals record patient information accurately and correctly. It reduces the risk of incomplete or illegible entries.
Paper records contain errors resulting from handwriting, missing information, or incomplete information and can affect patient care and safety.
- Security and Data Protection:
EHRs offer robust security features, including encryption and access control, to protect patient data from unauthorized access and breaches.
Paper records are susceptible to disaster damage or loss, making recovery difficult.
In conclusion, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) represent a significant healthcare advancement, offering improved accessibility, security, efficiency, and patient care. They streamline processes, empower professionals, and enhance outcomes, epitomizing innovation, and a healthier future.