Healthcare systems are highly complex, fragmented and use multiple information technology systems.
In the current largely paper-based medical records world, invaluable data is often unavailable at the right time in the hands of the clinical care providers to permit better care. This is largely due to the inefficiencies inherent in the paper-based system.
In order to be meaningful, the health record of an individual needs to be from conception or birth. As one progresses through one’s life, every record of every clinical encounter represents an event in one’s life. Each of these records may be insignificant or significant depending on the current problems that the person suffers from. Thus, it becomes imperative that these records be arranged chronologically to provide a summary of the various clinical events in the lifetime of a person.
Electronic health records are a summary of the various electronic medical records that get generated during any clinical encounter. To achieve this, a set of pre-defined standards for information exchange that includes images, clinical codes and a minimum data set is imperative.
Health Care sector in India has witnessed significant growth during the last few years, both in quality and capacity. The relatively lower cost of health care, as compared to developed countries, coupled with international quality, has positioned India as a major destination for health care services.
As the health sector is poised for major growth in next decade, the sheer size of the healthcare sector in the country will necessitate the extensive use of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, services and databases for policy planning and implementation.
Electronic health records can improve care by enabling functions that paper medical records cannot deliver:
• EHRs can make a patient’s health information available when and where it is needed. EHRs enable clinicians secure access to information needed to support high quality and efficient care.
• EHRs can bring a patient’s total health information together to support better health care decisions and more coordinated care.
• EHRs can support better follow-up information for patients – for example, after a clinical visit or hospital stay, instructions and information for the patient can be effortlessly provided and reminders for other follow-up care can be sent easily or even automatically to the patient.
EHRs can improve patient and provider convenience – patients can have their prescriptions ordered and ready even before they leave the provider’s office, and insurance claims can be filed immediately from the provider’s office.
A hospital’s administration workflow coupled with physician’s workflow is integrated with ERP technologies of Hospital software ultimately delivering smooth patient care.
The advantages are truly unimaginable so much so that they are now indispensable and critical for any health facility.