An electronic health record or otherwise known as the electronic patient record has changed the whole concept of gathering health records of patients. As a matter of fact, it has evolved. What was once a patient's record placed in paper is now encoded in a digital format. One does not have to send a patient's record to another state by the use of a snail mail. It can be sent to different health care setups in various places by putting it in the network-connected information system. The patient's records entails the comprehensive information like the demographics, complaints, medical history, medical treatment, immunization given, laboratory workups and their results, x-ray films and even vital signs.
So how did the electronic health record begin? Initially, the use of medical record was developed by Hippocrates. Overtime, it evolved when the use of computer happened. In the year 1960, universities from the US started coming up with software that can document the records. Dr. Lawrence Weed came up with a proposal of using a medical record system electronically. His idea was openly accepted by many health care workers.
There are a lot of advantages of using the electronic health record. The main benefit would be the cost reduction. Trillions of dollars is allotted to health care. Because there's a good record system, expenses are cut down to a huge percent.
It is even beneficial to the environment. KP HealthConnect collects records for more than 8 million patients. The digital records have diminished the use of tons of paper. Gasoline consumption is even reduced because patients don't need to go to their doctor for a prescription for their refill. There prescription is automatically sent to the pharmacist. What is more is that, they are even using energy efficient computers. Thus, the use of fossil fuels is less.
Also, the quality of care is improved. There are lesser occurrences of medical errors. The use of electronic health record systems helps physicians in their decision-making. They have immediate access to medical literature. They don't need to fully rely on their memory. They have access to clinical data so they concentrate more on evidence-based medicine.