Health IT systems are changing the way medical records are kept. Instead of keeping records on paper files, doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are no using computerized systems. All old records have been converted to create a central, computerized record for each patient. New information automatically is recorded in the system, which can then be shared with all health care providers a patient has.
The move to digital records is part of a government mandate. There are many reasons for this. The top one is that IT systems help to improve patient care. In fact, these systems have a few important benefits that they offer to medical providers and patients.
Better Coordinate Care
IT systems allow for a more coordinated system for providing care. As you can see in this infographic from UC Online, a coordinated system is a better running system. By having records in a central database, any doctor or provider working with a patient knows exactly where to go to get information about that patient. In addition, providers know where to put information about a patient. It is much more organized than paper filing systems, which are limited to one physical location and can make things difficult if a patient is seeing multiple doctors who all need to be kept informed of the patient’s care.
Because all the healthcare information is in one central location where it is easily accessible, this allows providers to make care decisions much faster. Instead of having to call around and gather files, consult with other doctors, and wade through paperwork, a doctor can consult the IT system records where other doctors can chime in and notes can be easily read. All the information the doctor needs is right in the system, making it far less time consuming to make an informed decision.
In addition, patients are able to get more comprehensive care because records are shared. One doctor can see what another is doing and be able to create their care plan based on what is happening with other doctors. This ensures patients aren’t be subjected to needless treatments and that all treatments are coordinated in a way to provide the best possible care.
Because an IT system can contain a lot of information and because it is typed and not handwritten information, this provides a much more complete and legible record which leads to safer care. There is not the concern of misreading messy handwriting or missing information because it wasn’t in the file. Issues like prescriptions being filled wrong due to not being able to clearly read the doctor’s writing are not a concern anymore because prescriptions are typed up. This is why top public health organizations, like those mentioned by USC, use IT systems to keep things organized and prevent mistakes.
Health IT systems are a sign of the changing times. They are new to the healthcare industry but are here to stay. As mandated by government rules, all providers are moving towards these types of systems. However, this is a good thing for everyone involved because it allows providers to offer better and safer care.