25 Jun Electronic Health Records
What is an EHR?
Electronic health records (EHR) are patient health information that is compiled in a digital format. These are generated by the healthcare provider and can be shared amongst healthcare providers. Before electronic health records, health care providers utilized paper charts and they consisted of mostly written documents. Electronic health records were developed to improve healthcare care by making patients medical information easier to read and more accessible to healthcare providers and patients. Electronic health records became mandatory for users by the end of 2014. It is estimated that 99 percent of the hospitals across the United States are using electronic health care systems. Not all Electronic health records are the same and they can vary in the information they contain. There are roughly over 1,100 vendors who regulate electronic health records.
Who accesses an EHR?
It is important to remember that most users of electronic health records are covered under HIPAA (national privacy and security rules). Some of these people that can access an EHR can include patients and your healthcare providers who are needing to access it to provide medical care. Also, insurance companies can utilize information from your EHR to assist with billing purposes.
What Information can be found in an EHR?
- medical history
- laboratory and diagnostic results
- ability to pay bills
- ability to request appointments
- ability to request medication refills
- advance directives
- educational materials
- immunization records
- profile information
Next, we’ll take a look at the current benefits to using the electronic health record system and how these benefits impact both the patient and the healthcare provider.