An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care.
For more information on EHR capabilities, visit www.healthit.gov.
EHR systems provide a variety of benefits to the providers using them, but also to patients, payers and the community at large.
Benefits to providers:
- Access to information – Searchable data, no transcription delay, remote access, sharing information between providers, clinical decision support and easier patient follow up.
- Revenue management – Improved coding and charge capture, pay-for-performance eligibility, a shorter revenue cycle and business continuity/disaster recovery.
- Workflow – No searching for charts, easier billing.
- Clinical decision support – Easily accessible data that assists health care providers in ordering the appropriate tests and procedures.
Benefits to payers, employers and consumers:
- Better quality care: Improved coordination and continuity of care among providers.
- Improved patient safety: Fewer medical errors through better information and processes and the reduction or elimination of medication and drug errors through e-prescribing.
- Reduced costs: Fewer redundancies in tests and lower costs through improved clinical decision support.
- Enhanced patient privacy and security: Better privacy and security of patient health information.
- Better public health: Better community health through the use of EHRs to report aggregate data that can monitor community health issues such as flu epidemics and infectious disease and can address population-specific health problems