As science and technology continue to improve the field of medicine, these medical developments are being reflected through better healthcare. Technology has improved almost every aspect of healthcare from how babies are delivered to how cancer is treated. And while there are many breakthroughs, two significant ones affecting healthcare are electronic health records/electronic medical records and clinical practice guidelines.
How Electronic Records are Improving HealthCare
When it comes to what to look for in EHR/EMR software, there is a long list. With electronic health records (EHR) a doctor has to pull fewer charts and can improve the efficiency with which he or she handles telephone messages and approves medication refills. This software also makes it easier to improve billing accuracy and reduces the cost of transcriptions. Additionally, there is improved formulary compliance and prescriptions are written with less ambiguity, reducing the number of calls from pharmacies asking for clarification. EHR also effectively codes visits.
There are also significant enhancements in the quality of care patients receive. For one thing, preventive care increases; and for another, doctors can quickly and easily get remote access to all relevant patient information. The result is that doctors now find it easier to manage chronic diseases and access evidence-based guidelines on how to offer the best treatment options.
Besides improving healthcare, EHR also improves the doctor’s job satisfaction and patient’s customer satisfaction.
Doctors find it easier to do their work quickly and efficiently because the software reduces frustrating, repetitive, and tedious tasks and reduces the frantic chase for patient’s charts. The software also improves intra-office communication, improves access to a patient’s medical information when doctors are at the hospital or on call, and improves compliance with medical regulations. These advantages make it far easier for doctors to demonstrate high-quality care for their patients.
Meanwhile, patients find it easier to get the care that they urgently need from their doctors. The software reduces the turn-around time for doctors to get access to medical records and to approve their medication refills. Since they are now working with a more efficient medical office, they also get improved care access, an improved continuity of their care, and an improved delivery of necessary education materials that they need to read and follow.
According to the government website, HealthIT, the terms Electronic Health Record (EHR) is often used interchangeably with Electronic Medical Record (EMR). EHR is different, however, as it’s not restricted to simply referring to clinician’s diagnostic and treatment procedures.
How Clinical Practice Guidelines Improve Healthcare
It can often be difficult for doctors to distinguish between illnesses with similar symptoms. Often, they must rely on their medical knowledge, experience, and intuition to figure out the most likely cause of a patient’s symptoms. Now, through the use of evidence-based guidelines, doctors are able to make a more accurate diagnosis and come up with more relevant treatment plans because they can get instant access to a whole range of statistical information from their computers.
Since there are numerous diseases and disorders, with new ones discovered since they left medical school, it’s unreasonable for patients to expect their doctors to be able to recognize every possible disease and treat it accordingly. However, with improvements in the quantity and quality of information doctors can access through improved healthcare technology, it is much easier for them to get closer to accurate diagnosis and selecting treatment plans.
Healthcare and The Digital Revolution
Healthcare has improved because we live in an increasingly more connected world, one where the constant flow of digital information makes it easier to streamline the healthcare system, making it more efficient and cost-effective. The use of software in the medical field has made it easier to gather and act on patient’s medical histories and to track statistical information that can shed light on diseases and disorders. It has also made it easier to manage the mechanics of health care from making doctor’s appointments to getting quicker approval for medication refills.
Naturally, in the final analysis, it’s important to realize that these are tools, and like all good tools, they require expert handling to be effective. While Electronic Health Records and Clinical Practice guidelines are significant medical technology trends that make doctor’s better at their work and improve patient satisfaction with the treatment they receive, a doctor still needs to be a highly-trained clinician to use these tools effectively.