Reduce Costs Using Electronic Health Records

by | Feb 16, 2015 | Electronic Health Records, Medical Billing

Reduce Costs Using Electronic Health Records

In the medical world, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have revolutionized the way medical personnel document and track patients’ records. This new approach for data management has made time management easier for medical institutions.

At the same time, medical institutions have been able to save a lot of money by reducing expenses normally spent on stationery and hiring people to help manage files and documentation. Based on a study, EHRs take only 10 minutes to process a patient’s medical records. This means hospitals can instead make use of their staff in better roles rather than waiting to manage files and place them in record rooms.

Electronic Health Records can reduce cost while increasing a patient’s awareness.  Patients will be able to access their medical reports in electronic versions online: they will not need hard copies.  Giving patients easier and immediate access to these documents will educate them of their current records in a paperless manner.

Defining EHR

EHRs are medical data that include the patient’s complete medical history (including multiple consultations by different physicians in the same medical facility), medical investigations and diagnosis. This ensures easy access to the patient’s medical records in real-time, and at any time.

Decades ago, medical documentation was manual which required handling documentation with care. In larger hospitals, managing hardcopies required having record rooms with filing codes, and resulted in a large margin of error. This led to much time wasted while tracking files, and duplication of files. Often, in an attempt to save time, administrators would create new files which caused multiple files for one patient. The list of available resources wasted in this scenario is quite extensive.

Digital information or EHRs reduce inefficiency of the documentation process. Having instantaneous access to these records, improves decision-making when it comes to administering treatment and eliminates the need for paper work. Moreover, EHRs ensure error-free medical records, avoid unnecessary requests for diagnostic tests and they improve patient care.

The Impact of EHRs

From a patient confidentiality perspective, the use of electronic medical data has improved. Now, electronic files mean limited access to sensitive information. Unauthorized medical personnel cannot access any patient’s file. This complies with the HIPPA laws and has refined various health insurance policies as well.

Since there are medical codes for almost every medical condition, the concept of medical coding has also taken medical documentation protocols to a new height. Medical coders continuously work with codes and electronic health record systems have made this easier to manage. Now, medical coders can make claims without flaws and within the appropriate time, before it is too late.

Today, large medical hospitals and medical centers easily handle medical records in real-time, and the credit for this goes to EHRs. They have reduced the amount of time wasted by medical professionals as well as decreased the cost of stationary and office staff.  In fact, there is a lot more to learn through EHRs, making the future of medical documentation  brighter.

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