The EHR technology is grabbing the wild fascination of everyone in the healthcare industry. Although the early purpose of utilizing information technology in healthcare was to mend deficiencies in the paper-based system, improve quality and to make healthcare more affordable. However, the digital system is opening up new venues for innovation and creativity as well.
Healthcare providers are implementing EHR systems in growing numbers because of the increasing benefits attached with it. In addition to monetary incentives, providers are taking into consideration a few most acclaimed benefits of EHRs, such as, health records become universally accessible, connecting providers to pharmacies and labs which in turn lend to the flexibility of the practice. A study published by Medical Economics narrowed down the top two reasons for implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system which indicate other factors encouraging the EHR implementation.
Here are the top two reasons prompting EHR implementation:
“To achieve meaningful use”
- 95% of the EHR Study’s participating physicians regarded the meaningful use program as their primary motivation.
“To improve patients’ quality of care”
- 53% of the doctors polled adopted an EHR system to improve the quality of care of their patients.
Besides this poll, there are a few more reasons which I think should fall in the top five
Peer pressure: Health care providers cannot work in isolation. In a highly competitive industry they need their facility equipped with the latest technologies which their competitors already have. Therefore, healthcare service providers opt for an EHR system when everyone around them has implemented one.
To improve returns: EHR systems are designed to manage finances as well. The system automates medical billing procedures, offering greater control over financial management and payment tracking. These extended capabilities of EHR systems have attracted a large number of adopters of this technology.
Reduced errors and omissions: Computer assisted ICD and CPT coding achieved through EHR systems leaves little room for errors and omissions in medical billing. Similarly, the benefits of clinical decision support system (CDSS) embedded in EHRs keep a check on malpractice. The aforementioned are great tools that serve as attractive qualities for the adopters of EHR software.
Cost effective: Automation of clinical processes requires fewer resources to manage daily operations of a health care facility. EHR systems require fewer resources to manage patient proceedings from registration to medication which makes it cost effective.
Until now, government lead programs and incentives are serving as the stimulus to implement EHRs, but the value this technology brings, will soon influence health care providers to adopt it for more a myriad of valid reasons.