The Importance of Patient Centered Electronic Health Records

With much fear surrounding the use of electronic medical and health records, it is important to continually highlight the benefits of adopting medical software in the hospital system. Adopting electronic medical records not only decreases hospital costs, physician time spent looking up records, it also helps to generate critical data on patients. 0313-electronic-med-records-630x420

The collection of critical data can mean all the difference between halfway and full recovery for a patient. On a large scale, it can help health care administrators decide if one course of treatment applied to one patient can be applied to another. On a smaller scale, it can provides patients the necessary relief they need when dealing with their own information.

In this article titled Patient- Reported Data Can Help People Make Better Healthcare Choices, the writer examines some challenges to patient care stating that, “most patients don’t embark on a health care experience with a thorough understanding of available treatment options and their anticipated health outcomes. They need tools to help them make value-based, fully informed decisions about their care.”

In supporting this statement, a 2015 Institute of Medicine report named Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress reflects a broad approval of collecting critical data due its improvement on the performance of the health care system and patient’s health care outcomes.

The report also calls to action, the need to make more electronic medical records patient centered. A well designed EMR system adopts a patient centered approach and this approach features information on outcomes associated with specific treatments. Studies show that a patient centered approach to electronic medical records gives patients a better sense of satisfaction and patients are also more likely to choose high value care based on the data collected.

They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Electronic medical records continue to generate apprehension due to it’s capacity for data collection, which is also its capacity for ruin if such data falls into the hands of hackers. But if the goal is to keep electronic medical records patient centered, the best practical step to begin with is giving patients clear access to information in plain language. This makes the data easier to understand and also removes the element of uncertainty.

Information is courtesy of the Harvard Business Review

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