Any given hospital or medical facility houses millions of patient information files. In the past, these files have typically been composed of a large number of documents, piled into a folder, and stored away in a large filing room. A frequently recurring patient’s file would be overflowing with paperwork, doctor notes, and treatment plans. In many hospital filing rooms, these bursting folders simply could not fit on the shelves, leaving patient folders piled on the floor, increasing the chances that important paperwork could slip out or be lost among thousands of other folders. These are chances that hospitals are no longer willing to take.
In recent years, electronic medical records software companies have developed programs that allow hospitals to keep track of their patient information on computers and mobile devices. This software allows patients to have unique ID’s that can be accessed with a few key strokes. By entering in a patient’s social security number, birthdate, or name, a doctor can pull up the patient’s electronic health record (EHR), and view pertinent medical history information, treatment plans, and even enter in notes about the patient during an appointment. EHR and behavioral health software leads to more accurate diagnostics, as all the necessary information is presented to a medical professional within a few screens.
EHR software has the added advantage of being patient-friendly. Patients can use an EHR system to access their own medical history, which includes prescriptions, vaccinations, and any treatment plan they have set up with a doctor. But there are some restrictions. Electronic medical records software companies allow hospitals and medical facilities to limit access to certain parts of a patient’s medical record so that it can only be viewed by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. This way, patients will only be able to see notes and diagnostics that are specific to their needs.
The time and money saved using EHR systems has made them a popular choice among medical facilities around the country. According to a Becker’s Hospital review study, about half of all medical facilities have fully implemented some type of EHR software, and more than half of medical practices have utilized stage 1 of EHR software successfully. Out of the medical health centers that have incorporated EHR software, 57.2 percent of them have seen a return on investment by using the software. These numbers alone speak volumes about how important EHR software has become in health care today. More on this.