Electronic Health Records
An Update on Electronic Health Records
Many healthcare systems and physician practices are now using electronic health records (EHRs), and within the past several years, huge advancements have taken place. If you’re pursuing your online Masters in Healthcare Administration, it’s important to understand the current status of electronic health records, their challenges, and how they’re expected to change in the future. Here’s a helpful 2016 update on the use of EHRs to help you better understand their challenges and benefits.
Implementation of Electronic Health Records
According to new data collected in a Medscape 2016 EHR report, 91% of physicians surveyed are currently using EHRs and 2% are currently implementing or installing EHRs. That number is a significant increase from the 74% who reported using EHRs back in 2012. At this point, most practices and facilities do have EHR systems in place, although there’s still a small percentage of medical professionals holding out and saying they don’t intend to use EHRs within the next couple of years.
Continuing Challenges of Electronic Health Records
Although more and more medical facilities and practices have now implemented EHR systems, there continue to be challenges that face healthcare professionals as they use electronic health records. Interoperability continues to be a problem, since some systems don’t integrate well with other health IT systems within hospitals and practices. Changes in workflow also pose a challenge as medical professionals work to adapt tasks to EHR systems instead of using paper-based systems.
Security continues to be a concern for many users, and while huge advancements in security have taken place with current EHR systems, it continues to be a challenge that needs to be addressed in the future. A reduction in patient face time is also a challenge and concern, with a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showing that physicians are spending nearly 50% of time in the office on EHRs and only 27% of their time with patients.
Looking to the Future of EHRs
With most medical facilities and practices already using electronic medical records, those who haven’t implemented EHR systems will likely turn to them in the future. As challenges continue to be identified, companies offering EHR systems will begin to adapt and make changes that help address these challenges to better meet the needs of the quickly changing healthcare environment. EHR technology will continue to advance, coming up with new standards that help medical professionals communicate, interpret, and then act upon the vast amount of healthcare information available to improve medical precision and quality of care.
If you’re interested in the important trends currently affecting healthcare, consider pursuing an advanced degree through University of Southern California. An online Masters in Healthcare Administration will help prepare you for a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.