The current state of healthcare, especially after the introduction of EHR (electronic health records) means there is a constant generation of data on patients and other health services. EHR is especially important given their role in diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of individuals’ health progress.
The healthcare field has continually advanced in its uptake of technology. Evidence of this is the adoption of HER, which has become a part of the healthcare system (Tomasi, Facchini & Maia, 2014). Traditionally, physicians kept patient notes, mostly handwritten, in secure cabinets for later retrieval. While this ensured the security of the notes, it was disadvantageous to the patient if he/she happened to change the care provider/physician. The new physician would, therefore, need to make fresh notes and administer fresh treatment without the patient’s history. EHR solves this problem by availing patient history and records from the time of first treatment to the current treatment. Through the records shared by different care providers, the physician taps into the system and gleans patient information including medical history, allergies, laboratory tests, and previous medication and possible complications. Essentially, EHR enables the physician to make better decisions concerning the treatment of the patient based on the patient’s medical history made available through the EHR system.
As a comprehensive data system, EHR allows both the patient and the physician to take part in the treatment process. Taitsman, Grimm, and Agrawal (2013) inform that the system allows secure logins for both patients and care providers, allowing constant monitoring of patient progress. Patients can also take better control of their treatment, especially the cost of treatment, as it allows them deeper insight into their health billing.
Data is becoming increasingly important in healthcare. EHR allows physician and care providers to glean patient data and make better decisions concerning the patient’s treatment. Patients also actively participate in their treatment thanks to the system’s ability to allow patients more access and control over their care.
Taitsman, J., K., Grimm, C., M. & Agrawal, S. (2013). Protecting patient privacy and data security. The New England Journal of Medicine, 368, 977-979
Tomasi, E., Facchini, L., A. & Maia, M. (2014). Health information technology in primary health care in developing countries: A literature review. Bulleting of the World Health Organization, 82, 867-874