With today’s embrace of technology and all things digital, it’s no surprise that the healthcare industry is shifting towards providing access to electronic health records (EHRs) and other digital health tools. Baby boomers are the group clearing the path towards a more digital healthcare experience.
How EHRs Help Improve Patient Care
In the past, healthcare systems relied on paper-based health record systems which created difficulties accessing records when needed — often to the detriment of patient care and to the frustration of staff. A shift to electronic health records has allowed healthcare providers to share data about a patient’s medical history with other specialists and hospitals and across different healthcare organizations or boards. Sometimes, patients move to different states; an EHR is readily transferrable to another healthcare provider.
A study by National Center for Health Statistics shows that 71 percent of those who have adopted EHR would do it again, and almost half of those without an EHR system plan to implement one in the next year.
Here are a few ways an EHR system improves patient care:
- Information is easier to share. EHRs allow healthcare providers to send medical information to patients, family and caregivers.
- Vital medical information is available for emergencies. EHRs are easily retrieved from a digital database.
- Improved communication leads to better care. Since all specialists and doctors who are working with a patient can communicate with each other through digital messages and notes, they can better coordinate care and avoid potential risky drug interactions.
- Less paperwork. EHRs eliminate the need for patients to fill out paperwork every time they visit a doctor.
- Convenient prescriptions. EHRs allow e-prescriptions to be sent to a pharmacy.
- Improved health outcomes. Patients who have EHRs experience fewer medication errors and have an easier time obtaining the medication they need.
Other Notable Digital Health Tools Revolutionizing Healthcare
Here are a few other digital health tools that are improving the healthcare industry:
- Remote patient monitoring. Patients that reside in a non-clinical setting such as at home can still be monitored by healthcare professionals from afar through the use of wearable technology and sensors. This leads to improved quality of life for the patient who can enjoy the comforts and independence of living at home.
- Patient engagement platforms. Online healthcare resources such as interactive portals increase patient involvement and help to communicate information in a timely manner. Digital platforms vary, but most provide educational resources, online appointment booking, and access to prescription refills.
- Digital diagnostics. Patients who live in rural areas without a doctor nearby or who simply can’t get to a doctor’s office can use technology that performs diagnostic tests. For example, there’s software that detects signs of Alzheimer’s by evaluating eye movement.
Healthcare technology is developing rapidly and is improving the end-care that patients receive while making the jobs of healthcare providers more manageable. Finding the right solution for your specific application is key, and Raintree Systems can help. Contact us today at 800-333-1033.