Do all Healthcare providers use Electronic Health Records?

Digital technology has changed our world a lot, affecting how we live every day and how we communicate with each other. Technology has made a severe impact in all sectors, including health care. 

Now, Healthcare service Providers are slowly moving away from paper-based medical records to maintain patient privacy. That’s when the EHR software came into the picture of the health sector. 

Digitalization in healthcare is also essential to ensure everyone has access to treatment at an affordable cost.

Let us explore if all the healthcare providers use Electronic Health Records in India.

What is EHR?

Electronic health records are interconnected databases containing part or all of a patient’s electronic medical records. 

EHR system is shared with an authorized network, so other healthcare professionals can access the data when necessary for clinical and analytical purposes.

Benefits of HER

  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are immediate and secure patient-centered records.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs) contain a patient’s medical background, diagnoses, prescribed medications, treatment strategies, immunization records, allergies, radiographic images, and lab reports.
  • Authorized users can access EHRs instantly.
  • EHRs offer evidence-based tools for providers to make decisions about patient care.
  • Documentation is clear and complete with medical imaging and test results.
  • With EHRs, information is available whenever and wherever it is needed.
  • Theoretically, the costs of treating a patient are lowered by minimizing duplicate activities.
  • Assist doctors in tracking their treatment protocols. Automation lowers the chances of variation and errors.

Status of EHR Implementation in India

A study from 2021, as reported in the Biomedical Journal of Scientific and Technical Research, looked at 15 hospitals (13 private and 2 government-run). Unfortunately, it was observed that only 8 of the 13 private hospitals were utilizing the EMR system for clinical data recording.

Challenges for EHR Execution

Interoperability standards issues, lack of funds, and shortage of suitable governance health policies are the major barriers to adopting EHR software in India. 

However, the status of EHR adoption is not aggressively tracked, and several new steps need to be taken for the successful adoption of EHR in India.

Personal Health Record System

  • The Personal Health Record System (PHR) can have a significant impact on how the EHR system is adopted. 
  • PHR promotes EHR use since it spares the physician from having to start from scratch when producing the patient record. 
  • The PHR instantly provides basic information such as demographics, vaccination history, known allergies, medical history, family medical history, test results, etc. 
  • PHR accessibility will let patients visit hospitals they have never been to before without having to worry about interoperability issues.

Final Thoughts 

As of now, only the private health sector has adopted such methods. A concerted effort from all the stakeholders, including the Central Government, State Governments, healthcare providers, medical associations, the IT industry, etc., is required to increase the use of EHR software. India can adapt EHR to suit its needs by studying international best practices for its implementation. 

India is gradually realizing the advantages of EHR systems in terms of better patient coordination, higher patient participation, improved medical research, and lower healthcare costs.