Electronic Patient Records
If you put your health record on some electronic device, where they are kept with easy access, can be upgraded and altered, your information gets a special name EPRs (Electronic Patient Records) or EHRs (Electronic Health Records).
Moving patient’s data from paper sources to some digital system takes a lot of time and patience (it will save time at physician’s), still it means endless benefits for future using.
It’s not only efficient, but also it provides faster and secure admitance to the information for individual patients, and the records are at hand from any place and at any time. There is a lot of essential information that might be needed immediately in case of some accident: medical conditions, blood type, allergies, prescribed drugs and so on. It happens that each minute counts and decision is to be made at once. In many countries governments agree that electronic patient records are not waste of time and money, but a vital component of a good health care system. In the USA electronic system VistA is used in every veteran hospital, to share the information on veterans health through all country within a minute. So even if the patient has a need in VA hospital being at a great distance from home town, the need will be solved. Access is easy due to the system “The Blue Button”.
Government works out different ways to encourage hospitals to employ the electronic patient records, because such great tragedies as Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 and California fires proved the advantages of the digital record saving. People, who had the health data in digital format were treated and provided with help faster than those, whose information was only on paper. The records are multiplied and saved in different parts of the country, so that some accident will not vanish them all.
Visiting new doctors, you have to give them information again and again. Still, something can be forgotten or you may consider it insignificant, and in the end doctor won’t have the complete picture of your health. But everything that has ever happened to your body leaves its scars and can lead to a disaster even years later. So, the EPR give safety and confidence.
If the data are in the electronic version, doctor will need your name, surname and birthdate (or, probably, some additional information) and will have admission to all data about your health condition throughout life. Even the fact that you have been treated with some herbal stuff can be sufficient for proper diagnostics and right treatment.
Records used to be lost if the doctor moved, closed the practice, retired or died. And the new doctor didn’t get the complete idea of patient’s condition. Now when progress allows us to use electronic devices. And moreover, the patient has admittance to his information as well, to trace his medication and diagnostics.
In fact, using EPR is the possibility of saving both money and trees. File folders and other stationery are no longer needed. ‘Time is money’, they say. Then, let’s spare, when it’s possible.
Instead of paying someone for looking after thousands or hundreds of folders, filling them in and updating the information, now a doctor can easily do it all himself by typing a few keystrokes to find and a bit more to change or add the database. And the healthcare saves immense sums of money this way.
Due to the system not only the hospital but the patient wins, too. Now the patient is powerful, as far as he can check his records and find any mistakes, that have been made in his treatment, mismatch with standards of healthcare, problems of security and privacy. Thus the idea of usage of the system will be supported by all the classes of people, because it is of real help.