How EHRs can Help Your Alternative Health Care Practice
Electronic Health Records (HER) are digital alternatives to a patient’s traditional paper chart. An EHR can be updated in real-time and the information is available immediately to health care practitioners. It might seem to make sense to some of our readers that EHRs are something you might only come across in mainstream health care, but even alternative health care practitioners should consider using EHR in their practice.
Improved Patient Care
EHRs improve patient care by encouraging patient participation and care cooperation, which leads to more accurate diagnoses and improved outcomes for the patient. At the same time, use of EHRs has allowed medical practices to become more efficient and save money. Many health care providers are taking advantage of EHR software and they have many software options to choose from. SelectHub is an online company that provides a buyer’s guide for the leading EHR software providers. As an alternative health care provider, you would be doing yourself a favor to take a look.
Increased Patient Participation
Patients who participate in their health care decisions are more likely to find success than patients who depend solely on their health care providers to assist them with health care providers. This is especially true of folks with chronic illnesses; Obesity and diabetes chief among them. While we are on the topic of chronic—pun not intended—illnesses, did you know that prescription painkillers deaths have dropped 25% in states that have legalized marijuana?
With EHR software, a member of a patient’s care team can provide them complete up-to-date information about their condition from previous medical assessments. No guessing or trying to decipher illegible handwriting. Additionally, they can provide patients with follow-up reminders and online resources. And even more, EHRs can provide a quick and easy way for providers and patients to keep in touch with each other while keeping records of all interactions in one place.
Expanded Care Coordination
EHRs allow patient health care information to be shared among many members of a patient’s health care team. For example, a diabetic’s health care team may include: family doctor, nutritionist, podiatrist, and an ophthalmologist, just to name a few. Chances are, they do not share the same office or even city, so EHRs allow them to share information in real-time, much more efficiently—and securely—than a fax machine.
Increased Accuracy of Diagnoses
When making any decision, it is better to have too much information than not enough. This is especially true when it comes to making health care decisions. In this instance, EHRs will assist in diagnosing illness with more accuracy, which in turn leads to treatment decisions that are more likely to succeed, which, of course, provides better patient outcomes.
Speaking of treatments, alternative health care providers would find it beneficial to know what traditional treatments are being used and may adjust their treatment based on that information and even vice versa for more traditional medical practitioners. Sure, you could get that information from the patient but EHR would tend to provide more accurate up-to-date information.
Increased Efficiency and Saving Money
In a paper for the National Conference on Health Statistics entitled National Perceptions of EHR adoption, health care providers report that EHRs save them time and money. EHRs save money and time by giving doctors the ability to send prescriptions electronically and by receiving lab assessments quicker. In addition, an EHR software suite integrates notes and appointment scheduling allowing support staff to focus more on patient care. For more, check out the Natural Blaze article that details how EHRs have changed healthcare.
At the end of the day, whether you are a family physician or an alternative health care provider EHR software has the ability to assist you treating your patients more efficiently with quicker, better results. EHR is not just for mainstream medicine, it is helpful for all kinds of health care providers.