7 Ways EHR Systems Improve Quality of Care

by | Aug 8, 2022 | Healthcare, Master Data Management

Graphic representation of data management and digital transformation.

In the last decade, healthcare organizations have largely adopted electronic health records (EHRs) systems in their digital transformation processes. Due to the emerging possibilities of integrating EHR systems with big data and data analytics methods, speculators predict that the global market for clinical EHR systems will demonstrate a sustained compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1% from 2022 to 2028. 

For care providers in various healthcare organizations, EHRs will become a regular part of your day-to-day – if they have not already. In this guide, you’ll gain a better understanding of EHR systems and how they benefit patient care. 

Key Takeaways:
  • EHR systems scale efficiently and can improve the overall quality of patient care in both large organizations and small practices.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are digital instances of patients’ aggregated medical records. They ensure that all care providers have access to the same comprehensive information.
  • EHR systems can share data with authorized users across organizations, eliminating the time lost in requesting information between organizations. 
    Video: Electronic Health Records


    What Is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

    An example of an EHR.
    Image source: https://financesonline.com/digital-transformation-statistics


    An electronic health record (EHR) – also referred to as an electronic medical record (EMR) – is a digitized form of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs deliver patient records to authorized users in real-time throughout the system. EHRs contain patients’ basic medical and treatment histories. Depending on the configuration of the system, EHRs can also include other categories of information beyond standard clinical data, such as:

    • Allergies
    • Immunization Lists and Dates
    • Radiology Images
    • Test and Laboratory Results
    • Automated Provider Workflows
    • Current Epidemiological Data

    As digital assets, EHRs allow authorized providers to create and manage comprehensive patient health information in a sharable format that users can distribute across multiple healthcare organizations. Because they are shareable across organizations, EHRs help ensure that all clinicians involved in a patient’s care receive the same information and apply care from the same perspective. Other organizations that can benefit from access to EHRs include:

    • Pharmacies
    • Laboratories
    • Medical Imaging Facilities
    • Specialists
    • Emergency Care Providers
    • Schools and Workplaces

    Since implementing the EHR Interoperability Incentive Program in 2016, EHR adoption has risen widely throughout organizations. As of 2021, 89% of physicians reported using EHR systems in some clinical capacity. 

    Benefits of EHR Systems for Patient Care

    Whether your organization uses EHR systems widely in all clinical processes or is in the early stages of digital transformation and adoption, there are several proven benefits of EHR systems for organizations. Here’s a list of seven ways EHR systems can improve your organization’s overall quality of care.  

    1. Care Coordination across Providers and Organizations

    EHR systems enable better care coordination among different providers and organizations as shared information platforms. In a fully integrated system, all data modified by any direct care providers will update the EHR for all other authorized users. With everyone at the point of care on the same page, providers make fewer mistakes based on outdated information. 

    2. Enhanced Prescribing Capacities

    With access to other clinicians’ patient data, care providers have a more informed perspective when determining appropriate prescriptions. The EHR may also have access to statistical data and a wider catalog of potential medications depending on the platform.

    3. Reduced Medical Errors

    Having records of previous and current medications prescribed by other providers mitigates the risk of prescribing contraindicated medications. Every year in the United States, 400,000 hospitalized patients experience harm or injury due to preventable medical errors. Better performing EHR systems automatically flag prescription errors as much as 67% of the time. In addition to flagging contraindicated prescriptions, EHR systems can also reduce the risk of confusion or miscommunication by requiring validated entry data. 

    4. Instant Data Access

    Particularly in urgent care, instant access to comprehensive patient data can make the difference between life and death. EHRs allow care providers to instantly get the patient information and determine an informed course of treatment much faster than with traditional unintegrated records. 

    5. Real-World Source for Data Analytics and Machine Learning Parameters

    Use-case of predictive analytics in healthcare.
    Image Source: https://www.compunneldigital.com/blog/predictive-analytics-in-healthcare-is-the-future-top-use-cases/


    As EHR system adoption continues to rise, the volume and depth of EHR data give these systems a high potential value for healthcare research. Early research into the use of EHRs for developing predictive data analytics and scripting machine learning algorithms indicates that the analytical use of EHR data will likely improve overall quality of care across the range of clinical contexts. As the data sets continue to grow over time, the contribution of predictive analytics will likewise continue to accrue value for care providers.  

    6. Enhanced Clinical Efficiency for All Care Providers

    EHR systems combined with master data management can streamline patient experiences at every point of care. Online portals and patient intake forms that integrate with EHR systems can simplify and speed up intake processes for new patients. EHR systems can automate the issuing of billing and invoicing, reducing loss and downtime. Nurses and receptionists with EHR access can find relevant information in a few mouse clicks instead of combing through stacks of spreadsheets.

    7. Better Data Security and Compliance with Data Privacy Regulations

    Paper records represent a significant risk for loss, alteration, or exposure. Approximately 7.5% of all paper records are lost in filing, and an additional 3% are misfiled. Paper records introduce a high degree of unreliability in information systems when combined with the physical risk of resource destruction in fires and other natural disasters. In contrast, electronic records mitigate these risks through several important features.

    • EHRs can be encrypted, ensuring patient data privacy
    • EHR systems run on cloud servers, and the data they contain exists in multiple instances, eliminating the risk of catastrophic data loss
    • Different authorization levels can ensure that different users have appropriate levels of access privilege.

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    To schedule a real-time demo, contact Gaine today.



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