Electronic medical records or EHR software is a system that allows medical staff to quickly enter information about new patients by creating a digital record that they update with each subsequent meeting. Records indicate details, including family history, reason for first complaint, diagnosis and treatment, prescription drugs, laboratory tests and other relevant details needed to assist each patient. How to use electronic medical records?
The original version and the cloud-based EHR system
You have two main options when it comes to EHR software. Your IT department can implement the EHR application for use on local servers. This is reasonable when you have a limited and fairly stable patient population for service.
But if you continue to expand your practice in terms of size or scope, your IT staff may have difficulty predicting how much server space your organization needs for patient data. Or you may have concerns about a disaster (or cybercriminals’ attack) causing local offline records to be blocked.
To alleviate such fears and increase flexibility, you can instead configure the EHR in the cloud. Now the IT team of the cloud computing service provider will be responsible for increasing server space and bandwidth to meet demand.
What’s more, you can restore patient information from the cloud in the event of a catastrophic failure of your local servers.
Finally, thanks to data available via the cloud, healthcare professionals can access patient data even when traveling, for example when the primary physician is not walking around in a nearby hospital.
The following 10 tips are designed to help maintain quality of care when switching from a paper card system to EHR.
- Keep the patient focused on the patient, not on the computer
- Look at your patients
- Do not interrupt the interaction with the patient
- Encourage active participation in creating the patient card
- Work with your computer – don’t let it work
- Disconnect routine data entry from the patient meeting
- Enter the data after informing the patient about your concerns
- Try using documentation templates
- Make a concerted effort to improve your computer and writing skills
- Be patient
Improving patient care
EMR software systems have also been designed to help patients and their families become more involved in the healthcare process. One example is that clinical summaries, available for more than half of all visits, are sent to patients within 3 business days. Each summary contains information on care provided during the visit, prescribed medication, upcoming / follow-up visits, and related medical advice. The summary aims to make patients and their family members aware of what happened during the visit and how they can help in patient care.
Patients can also become more involved in care by exploring patient-tailored educational resources. EMR software systems will provide links to articles, videos and photos that will help patients better understand their particular health situation.