Awareness of EMR software is growing among Philippine healthcare professionals. In spite of that, a lot are still somewhat unclear as to the benefits of EHR apps.
Most do have a general sense that using one is supposed to improve their work. What they don’t know is how exactly those improvements are supposed to happen.
That’s what we’re going to clear up here.
The Benefits of EHR Adoption
No More Struggling With Handwritten Prescriptions
There’s a joke about doctors having hen-track handwriting. Unfortunately, it is sometimes true.
Handwriting prescriptions isn’t just tedious: it also opens up the possibility that someone may find your prescription illegible. Another problem with the paper prescription is that it’s not something you can easily store or share for re-use when needed. Pharmacists are more likely to call you to verify what you wrote too.
A good EHR will have e-prescription utilities to solve the problem. That makes things easier for both you and your patient.
No More Issues with Paper
Paper is getting more expensive to copy or reproduce. It also costs more over time to store or transport. It’s easy to destroy and there’s no way for you to really keep it private.
One of the biggest advantages of EHR use comes from reducing the amount of paper your practice uses. You help your staff by reducing file management hours. You help your bottom line by reducing paper printing and storage costs. You’ll also help the environment.
Want to learn more about how exactly paper and digital records stack up in the healthcare industry? We’ve gone into serious depth for that topic before, in our piece comparing the two.
Rapid Retrieval of Information
Patient information at the palm of your hands. Need a quick historical view? Need lab results for the patient? Just a couple taps and you’ll be able to see it.
Fast data retrieval and accessibility have always been big points in the pro column for EHRs. Just take a look at our list of EHR pros and cons to see why.
Save Time for Your Patients
Ever got mixed up and asked a patient to do another test that they’ve already done? Have you experienced getting a lab result mixed up? Did a patient lose her prescription?
All of these things eat up time that could be spent examining the patient instead. All of these things are also errors that become more unlikely when you use EMR software. EHRs record whether or not a test has been done, so there are no unnecessary repetitions. Lab results get saved for easy recall and checking. Patient prescriptions are stored digitally too.
More Tools for Ensuring Patient Safety
Allergies, medical history and even past procedures are all important for making the right diagnosis or prescribing the right dosage. It’s one of the advantages of EHR software that all those things can be called up in a heartbeat when assessing a case. They can even be set to deliver alerts in case a physician is about to prescribe treatment in conflict with the patient’s condition, e.g. prescribing medication that could trigger an allergy.
There’s also built-in patient reminders (at least for those using SeriousMD) to make sure patients don’t miss their appointments and even procedures.
One of the key advantages of electronic health records is that you get to save money by using them. Just consider the costs involved with these things, for instance:
- File storage
- Non-optimized appointment schedules and patient no-shows
- Office supply expenses
- Paper printing and copying
All of those things add up. We’ve already talked about this in our Paper vs. Digital article, where we showed that even something as seemingly innocuous as a four-drawer file cabinet can lead to costs of $6,200 a year.
Want to learn more about how going digital can help you save money? We go into further depth here. You can also learn about how SaaS EHRs like ours save even more money by looking up our article on the topic.
Efficient Use of Your Time
See more patients with faster data retrieval and ongoing improvements to how you input your data. Less time typing and more time dedicated for your patients. Billing and claims is also dramatically improved.
In short, you get to work more efficiently. Fewer hours are wasted and you are more productive without having to actually spend more time working.
One of our main goals when we started out with SeriousMD was to make coordinated care happen here in the Philippines. When we experienced how hard it was to get different doctors on the same page, telling the same story over and over while hauling a suitcase of lab results, we knew we had to do something about it.
Coordinated care is made possible and more efficient through an EHR. Physicians can exchange data more easily and securely, can check a patient’s background history and concurrent treatments more quickly, and so on.
Future Implications: Aggregated Data
Being in the field of medicine, you will always be learning. The possibility to grab data, learn from it and eventually use it to make evidence-based decisions is a very important thing that only an EHR can help you with. Unless, of course, you have the hundreds of spare labor hours necessary to collect, check, and assess all data manually.
One of the things we already do is to show reports but soon, you’ll be able to customize it and do even more to aid with your medical research.
The benefits of EHR adoption can be seen in many ways, depending on how you use your EHR. The trick to seeing as many of them as you can is to adapt the software’s tools to your purposes. Find out how best to use the new functions an EHR offers so that you can speed up processes that used to take hours. That means being willing to experiment with the software too, as this is the best way to find out what could work and what might not.
Over time, you’re actually likely to see even more benefits besides the ones we listed above. Sometimes we talk to our users and discover that they’ve found new ways to use SeriousMD in order to cut their costs, for example, or to serve their patients even better.
You may well find your own ways of making SeriousMD work for your practice. Try it and see what benefits end up having the most impact on you. Tell us about your EHR experiences here!
We want to know concrete stories from real people on how digital medical record software is changing lives. Who knows, your stories might even drive our next big update to the app. Our goal is to keep improving the app for you, after all, so you can reap even more benefits than you already do!