Electronic health records (EHRs) can improve health care quality. EHRs can also make health care more convenient for providers and patients.
Snapshot of Improved Health Care Quality and Convenience for Providers
- Quick access to patient records from inpatient and remote locations for more coordinated, efficient care
- Enhanced decision support, clinical alerts, reminders, and medical information
- Performance-improving tools, real-time quality reporting
- Legible, complete documentation that facilitates accurate coding and billing
- Interfaces with labs, registries, and other EHRs
- Safer, more reliable prescribing
Snapshot of Improved Health Care Quality and Convenience for Patients
- Reduced need to fill out the same forms at each office visit
- Reliable point-of-care information and reminders notifying providers of important health interventions
- Convenience of e-prescriptions electronically sent to pharmacy
- Patient portals with online interaction for providers
- Electronic referrals allowing easier access to follow-up care with specialists
EHRs Improve Information Availability
With EHRs, patients' health information is available in one place, when and where it is needed. Providers have access to the information they need, at the time they need it to make a decision.
EHRs Can Be the Foundation for Quality Improvements
Reliable access to complete patient health information is essential for safe and effective care. EHRs place accurate and complete information about patients' health and medical history at providers' fingertips. With EHRs, providers can give the best possible care, at the point of care. This can lead to a better patient experience and, most importantly, better patient outcomes.
Practices also report that they utilize extracted reports on patient and disease registries to track patient care as well as facilitate quality improvement discussions during clinical meetings.
EHRs Support Provider Decision Making
EHRs can help providers make efficient, effective decisions about patient care, through:
- Improved aggregation, analysis, and communication of patient information
- Clinical alerts and reminders
- Support for diagnostic and therapeutic decisions
- Built-in safeguards against potential adverse events
Health Care Convenience Matters
Providers with busy practices—and patients with busy lives—appreciate convenience in their health care transactions. EHRs can help. For example, with e-prescribing, patients can have their prescriptions ordered and ready even before they leave the provider's office. Providers and their staff can often file insurance claims immediately from the provider's office. And providers may be able to access patient files or submit prescriptions remotely—from home or while on vacation.