Healthcare Innovations: Electronic Health Records

One of the most conspicuous healthcare delivery models in the present day is the electronic health records (EHR). This refers to an innovative system of maintaining up to date patient information including diagnoses, conclusive medical history, vital signs, challenges and so forth in an electronic version (Hoerbst & Ammenwerth, 2010). It automates information access to an interdisciplinary care team, with each medical professional able to have easy access to all relevant patient information at the same time. Consultations, referrals and a team approach to disease management are thus made possible by the use of EHR. More importantly, it ensures that information accessed is timely, accurate and comprehensive enough to support decision making by various specialists, care providers and other stakeholders involved in giving care to a patient.

EHR has several advantageous contributions to patient outcomes. First, there are less medical errors as there is adequate information preserved in an accurate manner. Majority of the medical errors that lead to poor health outcomes are due to incorrect, incomplete or poorly expressed information (Hoerbst & Ammenwerth, 2010). However, EHR ensures that information is accurate and accessible at all times for the purposes of clarity. Thereby, errors are reduced in the long run. It also allows patients to receive the best possible care from a number of specialists as they are all able to access all relevant information regarding treatment. In any interdisciplinary team, sharing of information is often a challenge and often takes time or creates errors within the process. However, information is readily available and accessible to every member of such a multi-stakeholder team with the help of EHR (Jha et al., 2009). In the end, the patient receives the best possible care from each consultant or member of the interdisciplinary care team. 

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Hoerbst, A., & Ammenwerth, E. (2010). Electronic health recordsMethods of Information in Medicine49(4), 320-336.

Jha, A. K., DesRoches, C. M., Campbell, E. G., Donelan, K., Rao, S. R., Ferris, T. G., … & Blumenthal, D. (2009). Use of electronic health records in US hospitals. New England Journal of Medicine360(16), 1628-1638.

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