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The Benefits of Electronic Health Records

By Staff
Monday, August 6, 2018 12:41 PM
All eyecare practices today have implemented Electronic Health Records. The switch from paper records to EHR was mandated by the federal government as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which required all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) to adopt and demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR) by January 1, 2014 in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.

According to HealthIT.gov, the official website of The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) “meaningful use” consists of using digital medical and health records to achieve the following:

• Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
• Engage patients and family
• Improve care coordination, and population and public health
• Maintain privacy and security of patient health information

As the ONC points out, an EHR is more than a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care. EHRs can:

1. Contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results
2. Allow access to evidence-based tools that providers can use to make decisions about a patient’s care
3. Automate and streamline provider workflow

This infographic, created by the ONC, explains the ways EHRs connect practitioners and patients.

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