The Benefits Of Electronic Patient Charts

1568 words - 6 pages

When walking into a hospital, nursing home, or physician’s office, electronic devices are used everywhere.  The doctors have pagers, drugs are released from an apparatus similar to vending machines, and the patients are connected to intravenous pumps and monitors, while they lay on beds that move with the touch of a button.  Everything seems to be electronic, except for patient charts.  A new system, called eHealth, was devised that would make these patient charts electronic.  The goal for electronic health is to unite all healthcare by making patient records available to all providers in order to improve the quality of care patients receive.  eHealth can be adopted into hospitals, physicians’ offices, and even ambulatory services.  A 2006 study found, “Ambulatory EHRs improve the structure of care delivery, improve clinical processes, and enhance outcomes” (Shekelle 61).  With professionals working together, procedures, scans, tests, and even visits to the hospital can be eliminated and in turn reduce the hospital’s expenses.  However, this reduction may not add up to the investment the facilities will have to make. Adopting this system will cost more the some facilities are able to spend.  However, investing in eHealth is a risk hospitals should take to improve patient care.  eHealth has to become affordable to all providers for healthcare to reach its full potential.
With eHealth, a doctor can go up to a computer, pull up patient’s files and see everything the patient takes for medications, any tests given and their results. This would be very beneficial to doctors especially working in trauma, where patients may be unable to tell doctors which prescriptions they are on or any medical history they might have.  This could eliminate the “1.5 million preventable adverse drug events” that happen each year (Hernandez 3).  This technology can also go through every patient and see who needs to be registered for a screening.  This would reduce the 50 percent of patients who don’t receive a screening at the proper time (Hernandez 3).  This is an area where the system could lead to an increase in costs.  However, this allows healthcare to prevent patients from getting ill, which in the end will save money.  Overall, eHealth can help prevent patients from getting a disease rather than caring for them if they receive one.
The more information a doctor knows on a patient the better treatment that patient will receive.  With eHealth, if a patient comes in because of a seizure, the doctor can look at the file, see when the last CAT scan was and its results.  If it was recent and the results were negative, the doctor won’t have to order a CAT scan for him or her, thereby reducing the amount of radiation the patient receives.  Not only will this benefit the patient, but also the hospital.  With more information on scans and blood labs, less of them will be ordered, reducing the amount of equipment and supplies, along with employees. Since it is electronic,...

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