Doctors and Hospitals Going Digital

When your doctor must access your health records—everything from your allergies to the treatments you received during past visits—does he or she pull out a manila envelope packed with scraps of paper? Or does your physician log onto the computer? The odds are becoming increasingly high that your doctor turns to the computer.

Electronic health records

Recently medial professionals have been adopting software called EHR (Electric Health Records). This has become more and more common. The percentage of office-based physicians who use EHR software stood at 57 percent in 2011, which increased from 50.7 percent in 2010.

Electronic records good news for patients

This, by the way, is good news for patients. We would like our doctors to be organized. We’d like them to have the capacity to access key health information swiftly. With health-record data stored in computers, they are able to do this. They won’t need to fumble through piles of paper to find our medical histories, what types of medication we are allergic to, and whether we’ve gained 15 pounds since our last visit. This information will all be available to them at the touch of a keyboard. EHR systems could also shorten the wait times that we face when we visit our doctor’s offices. If doctors aren’t wasting time shuffling through paperwork, they can spend more time visiting with patients and diagnosing them, whilst seeing patients in a more productive manner.

Federal government encouragement

The government is even behind the movement to digital documentation. The government is also pushing physicians to file their prescription information electronically instead of by hand. This, too, is sensible; pharmacists are more likely to make prescription medication mistakes when they’re trying to read the often-incomprehensible handwriting of doctors. If they can access prescriptions electronically through their pcs, the potential for mistakes falls dramatically.