Don't let data security problems dilute benefits of electronic health records
When healthcare organizations begin to deploy more IT solutions, it isn't uncommon for them to encounter stumbling blocks. Especially for smaller medical practices that don't have large, robust IT departments, making emerging technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs) work can be a major challenge, especially in terms of avoiding data breaches. Without the right remote database support, physicians may shy away from EHRs, which is both detrimental to their operations and their patients.
The impact of EHRs
It's important for physicians to utilize the help of these remote database support services to make EHRs a central part of their practices because if they don't have access to these emerging solutions, they may not be able to keep up with other organizations that are already reaping the benefits. According to The News & Observer, the positive effects of electronic record keeping are becoming more pronounced in many ways. The source noted that at Truman Medical Centers' Hospital Hill intensive care unit, nurses are now able to receive up-to-the-minute updates on any important changes they need to know about, including adjustments to patients' courses of treatment. Using a device the hospital calls CareMobile, doctors and nurses can ensure that fewer errors occur on a daily basis.
"It's faster and safer," Dallas Fulton, a nurse at Truman, told the news provider. "It used to be that physicians scratched orders on paper, which went to the pharmacy and then to us. Now, the order goes to the pharmacy electronically, and as soon as it's validated, it shows up in CareMobile."
In fact, the safety advantages of EHRs, which make tools like CareMobile possible, are widespread. The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association even recently published a study revealing that 17 million medication mistakes have been thwarted by EHR use. And reducing these problems has a tangible impact on the bottom line: At Truman, increased safety and efficiency has led to $12 million in cost savings since 2009.
A growing trend
Considering the ability they give hospitals to streamline operations and improve patient outcomes, it's no surprise that healthcare IT leaders are implementing them at an ever-increasing rate. Healthcare IT News pointed out that in a recent study in the Annals of Family Medicine, EHR adoption among family physicians alone is set to surpass 80 percent by the end of 2013.
With the right resources, it will be possible for healthcare practices to deploy the latest IT solutions effectively and with minimal disruptions, including those from security problems. Harnessing the insight of remote dba experts, this process can protect patients' personal information while also improving their health.