Health records software brings traditional medical records into the modern digital era. It plays an important role in settings like clinics and hospitals, and it can even make it easier to work with entities like insurers. Caregivers rely on standalone apps and linked software components to keep track of patient health, confer with colleagues and facilitate accurate procedures.
Of course, app-based health management techniques naturally come with their own unique hazards. In most cases, however, the potential advantages of a properly-managed software solution far outweigh the risks.
Providing Patients with an Improved Treatment Experience
Digital health record apps aren’t just helpful for physicians and nurses who want to clean up office clutter. Tools that manage electronic health records, or EHRs, also have the potential to increase the quality of care that patients receive.
According to U.S. government officials, EHRs not only reduce paperwork, they can actually minimize unneeded medical procedures. Because different care providers all have access to the same data, the likelihood that patients will have to go through redundant tests decreases. Health record apps that create and annotate EHRs generate essential information in a format that can be instantly shared among doctors, nurses and staff.
Maximizing Data Relevance for Specialists
It’s important to remember that EHRs and electronic medical records, or EMRs, don’t use a universal format. As with traditional physical documents, the information each electronic record contains depends on a patient’s health situation.
A general physician who diagnoses a cancer patient and a surgical oncologist who removes that individual’s tumor are both likely to record different kinds of information. Fortunately, health record tools can be adapted to the unique purposes of specialist fields or even individual practices.
Care providers commonly modify their software to record specific EHR information. This helps them deliver improved service and maintain awareness of domains that deserve their attention. Many customizable apps also permit custom workflow configuration, which increases the chances that nurses and auxiliary staff will enter the right data and perform appropriate diagnostic actions.
Keeping Smaller Practices HIPAA Compliant
Modern U.S. caregivers commonly increase their capabilities by using a combination of hardware and software. For example, diagnostic devices, such as sonogram machines, may be connected to networked computer systems for easier attachment of imaging results to EHRs. Similarly, practices use asset-tracking software to oversee consumable medical supplies, maintain appropriate stock reserves and avoid treatment errors, like leaving sponges in a body cavity. Such tactics permit smaller entities to do more with limited human and material resources.
Caregivers who want to run tighter operations with the help of technology are bound by specific laws. One important bill, the landmark Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, lays down guidelines governing the maintenance, storage and transfer of protected health information, or PHI.
HIPAA focuses on protecting the security and privacy of PHI via data-access controls, network maintenance, threat assessment and a number of other methods. Compliance isn’t optional, either. Organizations that violate HIPAA are subject to potentially stiff civil and criminal penalties as well as any liability judgments that may arise from lawsuits.
Maintaining HIPAA compliance is a major job for most organizations. Health records software that meets HIPAA requirements can drastically reduce the burdens associated with using PHI. It can also make self and external auditing much easier for caregivers and the third parties that help them enact governance.
Managing Business Tasks
Health records applications free healthcare professionals from having to devote as much energy to manual office maintenance. For instance, small practices with limited HR pools automate common billing and collections tasks. Pharmacies employ EHR software to prompt self-starting processes, like Medicaid claims, and initiate drug orders to prepare for upcoming refills. By connecting their practice-specific workloads to their business actions, care facilities foster more satisfying interactions for consumers and maintain profitability.
Contemporary health records software is infinitely customizable and generally well-adapted to the security and practical considerations of the modern caregiver. It’s a safe bet that whether you’re a small clinic or a large hospital network, health records apps can improve the way you operate.