An electronic health record (EHR) is a patient’s heath record in digital format. Electronic health records allow the seamless flow of patient information in real-time to be available to authorized users in a secure manner. While the primary objective of EHR is to hold a patient’s medical and treatment records, it can also be designed for a comprehensive history and analysis of the patient’s health. EHRs can include:
- A patient’s medical history, medications, immunization dates, radiology images, diagnoses, treatment plans, allergies, laboratory examinations and test results.
- Access to evidence-based data that providers can use to decide upon the line of treatment for patient care.
- Automation and streamlining of provider workflow of patient data.
One of the major features of electronic health record (EHR) is that patient health information can be recorded and managed by authorized personnel digitally and be shared with other users across one or more healthcare organizations. EHRs are built for sharing information with other healthcare providers such as specialists and health associated institutions such as laboratories, medical imaging facilities, emergency facilities, and pharmacies so that it contains information from all those involved in patient care.
Outcome-based Service Models to Gain Prominence in Electronic Health Record Solutions Market
Electronic health records have brought a radical change in the information-laden medical world. Due to their tangible benefits for patient care, not only large- and medium-sized hospitals but small-sized clinical practices are exhibiting increased deployment of electronic health record solutions. As a result, the global EHR solutions market will display a positive growth rate in the coming years. In a forecast period from 2015 to 2023, the EHR solutions market will display a CAGR of 5.4%, says Transparency Market Research.
Of the few types of installation modules for EHR, web-based EHR systems are widely used among medical professionals due to their cost effectiveness. On the contrary, client-server based EHR systems are associated with up-front installation fees, which acts a burden for small and mid-sized clinical practices. For example, in a health reform in the U.S. under Obama Care, CoxHealth, a hospital, installed a web-based platform developed by Phytel Inc., to improve health outcomes of patients and extend services on an outcome-based model transitioning from fee-for-service model. This indicates reversing trends of outcome-based service models that are expected from EHR solutions.
Electronic Health Records have Gaps too
In spite of a host of advantages such as patient safety, cost savings, and research offerings, electronic health records have certain insufficiencies as well. EHR involves the assimilation of data from a gamut of data sources to paint a more thorough picture of a patient’s health history. However, most of these health records have latent gaps making them insufficient for conclusive patient health information. While latent gaps and incomplete clinical data are recognized problems in EHR, the extent of their inadequacies is nowhere published or analyzed methodically. A recent study carried out by the Oxford University Press USA presents some observations about drawbacks of EHR for mental health:
- EHRs alone is insufficient for capturing mental health diagnoses, specialty care, hospital visits, and medications. The missing data could have implications of medication errors and other patient sufferings from behavioral care services.
- Patients of depression and bipolar disorders have missing records due to outpatient behavioral care that is carried out at offsite locations several times in a year.
Thus, until EHR solutions providers find ways to fix these gaps, the market will be unable to reach its full growth potential.
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