Electronic Health Records (EHR)
EHR Project Implementation Phase III, Step 2
Electronic health records (EHR) can enhance efficiency in healthcare setup. They systems can allow healthcare workers to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)’s guidelines. Apart from this role, the digitization of health records improves the operations of healthcare facilities. As a result, many facilities have moved from paper-based medical records to electronic ones to prevent errors. The EHRs make processes more efficient by improving care coordination (Allsop et al., 2017). While paper-based records have worked before, EHR implementation will improve various areas, including the quality and safety of care, by preventing medical errors through proper records management.
Scheduling and Check-in Patients
The paper-based records management approach requires patients or caregivers to visit the facility and make an appointment or register for a service. The process is slow and confusing, including a possible loss of paper-based files. It is also time-consuming for patients, especially those coming from distant places. Conversely, electronic systems improve scheduling and check-ins (Franceschi et al., 2020). Patients can call and book appointments without visiting the facility. The system also allows accurate recording of patient information to be available on demand.
Assigning Patient Rooms
The new system will improve assigning rooms and beds in inpatient settings. Unlike the paper-based records where the patient should be present with a physical file, patients can be assigned rooms and beds even before they arrive. Besides, access to patient information is fast, allowing patients to have a room and bed faster than in paper-based settings (Kadmon et al., 2017). Overall, decision-making about room assigning is faster when using the electronic system.
Paper-based records delay communication, which is an essential element of quality care. On the contrary, electronic records enhance communication between patients and providers and among health care professionals; hence, the processes improve the quality of care. Electronic systems allow instant messaging and feedback and ensure communication safety (Si et al., 2021). Medical records management can enhance the security of electronic records (such as through password protection and firewalls), unlike paper-based files, which are easy to access by third parties.
Paper-based prescriptions remain at the hospital and are challenging to retrieve when patients come for an appointment or review. The lengthy process discourages patients from intending to renew their medications. However, implementing an electronic system can allow the renewal process with a click of a button since providers maintain digital prescriptions electronically (Kadmon et al., 2017). Hence, they can achieve the goal by calling the facility or networking to do the same in another facility.
Sending Prescriptions to Pharmacies Electronically
In paper-based records, the patient or their assistant carries a prescription to the pharmacy. Hence, one of the system’s limitations is the potential for a high rate of medical errors. The illegibility of handwriting can cause erroneous translation of the prescription, causing the dispensing of the wrong medication (Kadmon et al., 2017). On the other hand, Alotaibi and Federico (2017) aver that technology can assist physician make medication orders through electronic platforms, such as mobile devices and computers. Electronic systems will eradicate errors by sending the prescription directly to the pharmacy.
Keeping and Tracking Health Information Entry Time Stamps
HIPAA aims at ensuring the security and privacy of patient data. The law requires the restriction of patient information from access by third parties. Electronic systems achieve the goal by using security measures or notifying systems managers if a data breach occurs (Sittig et al., 2018). Overall, the electronic system differs from paper-based records that lack an effective way to protect patient data.