Currently, 5% of Google search queries are related to healthcare issues, 66% of internet users use the platform to confirm medical facts and issues, and close to 88% of physician appointments is through smart gadgets. Electronic Health Record (EHR) provides detailed storage and organization of such patient-related information in an informed and accurate digital format. Such information relates to their demography, immunization dates, active & past treatment plans, allergies, present & past diagnoses, vital signs status, and active medications.
Throughout this article, we will explore the design footprints of EHR systems like users & processes involved, their universal benefits, and evident yet manageable system challenges that affect both patients and healthcare givers.
Users Involved in its Documentation Process
Certified medical experts like lab technicians, nurses, and physicians that create these digitized medical charts’ data need to ensure the recorded info is super accurate and without bias. A patient’s medically relevant event recorded on an EHR system should be from as early as birth. Such EHR information helps healthcare providers to facilitate accurate diagnoses of current and mutating ailments; from both biological and environmental standpoints.
Electronic Health Records Key Data
Key information that should never miss on an EHR include:
- The patient’s surgical history
- The patient’s obstetric history
- The patient’s immunization records
- The patient’s social habits
- The patient’s medication and medical allergies
User Access to Recorded Patient Data
Since such EHR documented info is private, the confidentiality of such data should be under a designated healthcare provider with direct and active involvement in the patient’s social well-being and lifestyle/routines.
EHRs Systems Contribution to Health Centers
What EHR promises physicians, clinicians, and ordinary patients is not easily seen in other digitized healthcare platforms. It is a win-win system that focuses on all its users. Consider the following factual data.
1. Fast Fact Checkers and Fixers
For instance, a complete and accurate patient medical chart can easily alert a healthcare provider of the possibility of a misdiagnosis, missing medical history, or inaccurate publication of an active/present patient’s medical data or history.
2. Secure and Fast Patient Data Accessibility and Availability
Warranted medical practitioners have fast and secure login credentials to target health data and records. Whether the interested parties or healthcare providers are from different laboratories, pharmacies, or other medical facilities, shared medical notes cannot be compromised. This EHR attribute can potentially streamline and automate health practitioners’ workflow.
3. Reliable and Extensive
The various interfaces of such a healthcare system design make it possible for EHR to provide valuable functionalities like medical outcomes reporting and evidence-based analyses from patient data history.
4. Controlled Medical Error Reporting
Since saved or bookmarked medical data records are clearer and more accurate, the confidence index of involved health experts makes treatment and diagnosis coordination among these experts from different health facilities viable.
5. Improves and Speeds up Decision-Making Process
Easy-to-access health data implies that health experts do not need to re-do or duplicate tests that can delay urgent treatment plans. It’s also economical for health facilities. They will not overspend on already-existing and referential test results and prognoses. Patients too do not have to deal with huge medical bills because of unnecessary medical tests.
6. Flexible User Access to Urgent Health Records
Patients can flexibly and easily be acquainted with their health status or view their health trends without having to book an appointment with health physicians.
Manageable Challenges to EHR System Designs
Health experts are front-line beneficiaries of implementable EHRs designs. While the implementation of EHRs system designs can be flawlessly successful, challenges related to time, resources, and user cooperation arise during its initial usage.
Hardware and Software Technicalities
The computer systems responsible for remote sending and receiving of patient data and history to/from different healthcare facilities need to meet certain hardware specs to perform better. Their processing power should be fast enough to retrieve, compile and send urgent medical info regarding a patient. Therefore, the software architecture of designed EHR systems should only be compatible with modern hardware.
The design and implementation of EHR systems to handle advanced health information use cases can be expensive. It might require heavy investments in physical infrastructure, training, and support. Such instances call for reserved funding before deciding to design and implement EHR systems. You can check out a quote from one of the companies focusing on healthcare software development.
Users tend to give up on EHR systems or any other user-centric system after a slight encounter with any technical malfunction. To bring these users (patients and coworkers) onboard, the designers and developers behind potential EHR systems should follow a thorough test-driven development approach to not frustrate the targeted users and customers.
User Exposure and Training
EHR implementation goes hand in hand with users’ and employees’ training. It familiarizes them with the workflow process of the system. Since time, effort, and resources for user training tends to be expensive, owners or caretakers of EHR systems tend to forego this crucial step. It results in an imbalance in user experiences where some employees tend to be more advanced than others. This outcome affects the workflow of the system. If EHR system design is not geared towards providing an easier and simplified user experience, its implementation may fail to meet its intended functional objective.
Medical data breach, damage, or loss is a major concern among patients and healthcare providers. Such data privacy breaches, damages, or losses can be through cyber hacks and natural disasters. The design of EHR systems should provide a data backup plan in case user and patient data gets compromised. Also, the security measures of the EHR system should be strict and thoroughly tested during the design phase.
The future of EHR systems is a certainty in developed countries and a growing promise in developing countries. Since individual health records are subject to confidentiality and limited access, this 21st century emerged innovation provides immediate and flexible healthcare services for all. It saves on time wasted on manual cross-checking of old records and the need for a patient to be physically present to benefit from a healthcare appointment. EHR systems are detailed and accurate in their assessment of patient records.
Also, with new COVID-19 variants surfacing from anywhere, virtual health is not just necessary but mandatory.