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The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a patient's official health record that is stored electronically in a digital format. Other medical practitioners from other health care institutions can view the records. Data networks are used to exchange medical data. Health records, immunization, prescription, asthma, radiology photographs, age, weight, and test findings are also included in EHR (Weiskopf & Weng, 2013). It is a system that stores and maintains patient’s data over time.
It manages the medical history of a patient through capturing, reviewing, and maintaining social and family history.
It helps in managing clinical notes and documents. Patient’s medical data can be corrected, and updated.
It enables other medical practitioners to access clinical documents of a patient. EHR incorporates medical information of a specific patient from external sources.
It manages protocols, guidelines, and specific care plans for patients.
It supports the interactions between applications, systems, and modules to facilitate appeals, responses, and requests related to referrals, service authorization, and pre-certification.
Finally, it manages communication among medical practitioners on treating a particular patient.
Advantages of Electronic Health Records
EHR facilitates high quality and safer enhanced care for patients. It accurately stores data and captures the health state of a patient over time, by providing complete information about the patient.
It eliminates the tiring process of tracking down paper medical records, and saves on storage space needed for the paper records, as well as reduces the risk of losing information.
It enables quick access to patient records to facilitate an efficient care. There is a patient portal where they can access their medical reports and advice without having to go to the hospital.
It is a more secure form of storing patient information since privacy and security is taken into consideration. EHR software is protected with strong encryption where the nurses, doctors, and physicians can access patients’ data on secure devices.
It enables health service providers to provide efficient services and meet their goals.
It improves interaction between medical professionals and patients, while bringing convenience in the health care sector.
EHR reduces the cost of paperwork and duplication through ensuring data is correctly entered and stored. The E-prescribing ensures pharmacists read the correct prescribed medication for all the patients.
Finally, it brings about better clinical decision making since patient information from multiple sources is integrated (Weiskopf & Weng, 2013).
Forms used to keep patient information in EHRs
EHR data can be converted to different formats to enable readability, editing, and storage. Such formats include:
The Adobe Flash Online form – EHR enables the sharing of multimedia information which includes medical imaging results among different locations. This can only be possible with the help of adobe flash platform that allows the viewing of multimedia. The shared objects are stored in a format called Action Message Format in the hard disk. Adobe flash allows passing of data to a third party through the help of XML file. This hence enables the information in the EHR to be shared across different health centers. This format is mostly used by the PerfectForms Inc vendor (Weiskopf & Weng, 2013).
PDF forms – PDF forms can be both online and offline. The information contained in papers is stored in a PDF form either in a device, or in the adobe document cloud. Patients can easily fill their information stored in adobe cloud, and make it accessible by the medical professionals for their use. Likewise, doctors and nurses are able to fill a patient’s medical information with the help of adobe cloud, which is linked to the EHR. FormRouter Inc helps in secure capturing of forms and data into SharePoint to be viewed by the appropriate people (Weiskopf & Weng, 2013).
HTML form – HTML provides two objects for storage of data; the window.localStorage which stores data without expiration data, and window.sessionStorage which stores data for one session; data is lost with closure of a tab. Hospitals use the window.local Storage to store patient information. This makes it possible for patients’ information to be always available whenever anyone wants to access it (Weiskopf & Weng, 2013).
The purpose of each form
The purpose of Adobe flash is to enable medical practitioners and patients to view multimedia objects such as images and x-rays.
The PDF forms enable the filling of information. In this case, the medical professionals and patients are able to fill information into the system.
The HTML form on the other hand enables the retrieval of patients’ information over and over again.
In conclusion, EHR is a system that has made it easy for the recording, storage, retrieval, and maintenance of patients’ information. It is a solution to the traditional paper form of storing patients’ information. Today, with the help of the technology, medical records of a patient can easily be accessed and managed.
It is my hope that this information gives clear information of all that involves EHR. In case of any questions or concerns on the above information, it is my pleasure to address them accordingly. Thank you.
Weiskopf, N. G., & Weng, C. (2013). Methods and dimensions of electronic health record data quality assessment: enabling reuse for clinical research. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(1), 144-151.
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