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What are the benefits of increased access to information?

What are the benefits of increased access to information?

The Basics

One of the main benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) is increased access to information.1 To learn more about the benefits of increased access to information, see the following stories.

  • Better Patient Care: A specialist in family medicine, Dr. Christopher Tashjian, practices in rural Ellsworth, Wisconsin. While visiting Estonia in 2011, Dr. Tashjian received a call from a patient who was out of high blood pressure medications. Using a mobile connection to his EHR, Dr. Tashjian accessed his patient’s records, found the medication, and refilled the prescription at a local pharmacy.
  • Improved Work-Life Balance: Dr. Karen Smith runs a one-physician family medicine practice in Raeford, North Carolina and is using remote access to her EHR to improve work-life balance. Before EHRs, Dr. Smith frequently worked late into the night. Now that Dr. Smith is using an EHR system and has remote access to patient information, she is able to “review labs on a Saturday while [she is] doing the laundry and live a balanced lifestyle.”
  • More Efficient Health Care: At All Island Gastroenterology in Long Island, New York, on-call physicians using EHRs are able to efficiently manage off-hours emergencies. No longer are physicians required to drive to the office, hunt for a patient’s records, and then return the emergency provider’s call. All the unnecessary time is “now completely eliminated as a result of remote access to the EHR system” and the practice is able to more efficiently provide care to patients.
  • Enhanced Continuity of Care During Disasters: When a tornado struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011, St. John’s Regional Medical Center, a hospital in Joplin, was heavily damaged. Five patients and a visitor died in the storm, and the hospital closed for repairs. Yet just six days after the tornado, the hospital staff was at work again delivering care with full access to their electronic patient records.

Providers Like You

To learn about providers like you who are leveraging the benefits of electronic health records to access patient information remotely and improve patient care, see the following provider stories.

References

  1. Jamoom E, Beatty P, Bercovitz A, Woodwell D, Palso K, Rechtsteiner E. “Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems: United States, 2011.” 2012.