What Does the Future Look Like for Electronic Health Records?
The ability for electronic health records to improve the efficiency of healthcare has been very apparent since their induction. In the United States, both public and private health organizations were required to begin using them at the beginning of 2014. The benefits definitely outweigh the cons, even though they do exist.
First of all, electronic health records reduce the amount of time necessary to receive information, both from the patients end as well as the hospitals. Additionally, human error is dramatically reduced since the risk of misinterpretation due to misreading documents, wrongly interpreting graphs, etc. However, this problem is still present today. Another, slightly less tangible benefit to EHR’s is that they allow patients to be more participatory in their own health care. With paper records, it was a very time intensive process to get details about personal health. Now with personal health portals and digitized records, a patient can see a ton of information within minutes.
The current electronic health record systems are not flawless, however. One of the most important issues hospitals and other healthcare organizations face today as that many electronic health record systems are different. Because they are different, it is difficult to share patient data and information from one provider to another. This may not seem like a major issue, but when you consider how many different physicians a patient may have with each physician using a different EHR system, the scenario can become tangled. The other primary issue we face today is the cost of these systems. Most advanced EHR systems are not cheap and require teams of people to be trained to keep them secured and properly up and running.
The future of electronic health records and the systems that hold them will most likely see these two major problems being ironed out. As technology such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and more all advance, these systems will be able to advance as well. Most importantly, it should not be surprising to see more and more of these EHR systems becoming integrated in the coming years, so that exchange of information is made very simple. The future of these systems is exciting, and will benefit both healthcare providers and more importantly, the patients themselves.