Electronic Health Records: Are Doctors and Hospitals Going Digital

Everything is going digital nowadays, even medical records. Last time that you were at the doctor did they pull out an envelope to access your health records? Or did your doctor pull it up on a computer?

Electronic health records

That’s because the amount of physicians embracing electronic health records (EHR software)—which are precisely what they sound like—has steadily grown over the years. According to the most recent data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of office-based physicians with access to EHR software stood at 57 percent in 2011. That’s an increase from the 50.7 percent of office-based physicians who reported the same thing in 2010.

Electronic records good news for patients

This, by the way, is good news for patients. We would like our doctors to be organized. We’d like them to have the ability to access key health information easily. With health-record data stored in computers, they can do this. They won’t have to fumble through piles of paper to find our medical histories, what sorts of medication we are allergic to, and whether we’ve gained 15 pounds since our last visit. This information will all be available to them at the touch of a keyboard. EHR systems can also shorten the wait times that we face when we visit our doctor’s offices. If doctors aren’t wasting time shuffling through paperwork, they can spend more time visiting with patients and diagnosing them, all the while seeing patients in a more effective manner.

Federal government encouragement

The move toward digital record keeping is being encouraged by the federal government as well. They are also encouraging physicians to file prescriptions electronically. This seems like a good move as the pharmacists are not as likely to make mistakes and patients are less likely to loose their prescriptions.

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