Electronic Health Records aren’t going anywhere. Almost all healthcare systems and practices have transitioned to EHRs, but many physicians aren’t satisfied with their EHR. In order to improve EHRs for physicians, we need to take a look at both the benefits EHRs already provide, as well as the challenges they currently present.
Benefits of EHRs:
- Data Storage
Patient information is vast and needs to be stored securely. Before the indroduction of Electronic Health Records, patient data was stored on paper. These files required high storage costs, and they could not be accessed remotely. With EHRs, we have an electronic storage space for vast amounts of patient information. It is all collected in one (relatively) organized place, and physicians can access the entirety of a patient’s medical history.
- Accessibility for Patients
Now that patient medical records are stored electronically in EHRs, patients gain access to their own health information. Providing patients with the ability to access their medical record contributes to more patient-centered care. As patients are given access to their health information, they are empowered to take ownership of their healthcare, which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes.
Challenges of EHRs:
- Physician Burnout
According to a recent study conducted by Stanford Medicine, 54% of physicians feel that using an EHR detracts from their professional satisfaction. There are multiple reasons for this. For one thing, physicians are struggling to find the data they need for a patient exam. It’s buried in multiple different tabs and requires digging. This is frustrating, and it prevents them from connecting with their patients. Not only that, but physicians also have to spend two hours documenting in their EHR for every one hour they spend with patients. Physicians are being asked to do far more administrative tasks than ever before. They are not being provided with an environment where they can best practice the art of medicine.
EHRs currently come in a one-size-fits-all model. However, there should be more opportunity for customization. Different specialties and physicians may have different needs and different data points that are important to them. EHR vendors are beginning to see the value of this, and they are opening up their APIs to third-party developers. As EHRs shift to become a platform for different apps, physicians will be able to take back control of their data.
Looking for more industry insights? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.