The Increasing number of diseases and medical conditions has led to the expansion of the healthcare system. The current healthcare system has multiple settings and various points. The healthcare providers at the multiple settings must coordinate to ensure that the care patients receive is of quality. The accelerating demand for pooled data for efficient provision of complete care has led to the advanced computerized clinical information system Lancet (2013). Various clinical information systems are available in the medical industry. The paper would discuss the ambulatory / OPD electronic record system.
The big difference between the traditional clinical system and the OPD electronic records system is the paperless and convinient nature of the OPD electronic records. OPD electronic records functions like any other electronic health records. The patient information from all departments is stored in a single database that can easily be accessed by an authorized party. For example, if a doctor requires information on vital signs. The doctor does not need to walk to the registration area where the examination was performed. He or she accesses the patient portal and finds the information readily available. The same process applies to other departments in the facility such as the laboratory or pharmacy (Stanberry, 2010).
The system is accessed by logging into the patients’ portals; an online database secured using username and passwords unique to every patient. The patients could fully or partially access the information in the portal depending on the policy of the healthcare facility. Sometimes patients do not have to access the information from the portal. The information is disseminated to the respective email addresses, or through phone calls, for example, a reminder about a return checkup (Stanberry, 2010).
Benefits to the Patients
OPD electronic records system has numerous benefits to the patient and the healthcare system. To the patients, the system improves patients’ participation in the process of care; when patients can easily access and understand the medical information. They become more knowledge about the disease or condition. Such patients tend to answer the question ask by the physician appropriately and often ask more questions about the health condition they are suffering from. The system further improves accuracy of medical diagnosis and health outcome by reducing errors such as prescription errors. Prescriptions transmitted electronically have limited chances if any of the pharmacist misreading the doctors’ handwritings, the prescription is clear, easy to read and comprehend. The system alerts healthcare providers in case a drug that would have adverse effects on a patient is prescribed. For example, a drug that would react negatively with other prescribed medications (Sobel, 2008).
Application of an electronic record system would also ensure that Patients undergo testing and examinations that are appropriate and redundancy is highly reduced. Meaning the system saves time and other resources. Instant access to patient information is vital in case of an emergency care. The information would assist the healthcare providers in making quick, informed decisions about the emergency and provide most appropriate care; the electronic system provides an instant access. Privacy of medical information is vital in the provision of care. The system ensures that the patient information is secure, and only authorized persons who understand the medical ethical consideration on patient information privacy can access the information. Data stored electronically can also be quickly and securely transmitted from one healthcare provider to the next healthcare provider or from one department to the next department (Stanberry, 2010).
Benefits to the Healthcare System
The system does not only have advantages to the patients; the medical practice also benefits from using OPD electronic healthcare records. For instance, the system saves on space, meaning the healthcare facility could use the space that could have been occupied by files and cabinets for other pressing issues that add value to patient care. The goal of every healthcare system is to provide quality care to the highest number of patients. The system ensures that this goal is achieved since the time spent attending to a single patient is reduced. The increased workflow results to improved productivity. One of the challenges that the health system has endured is faulty billing system. Some of the challenges were, over charging, under charging fraudulent financial activities by the finance department. The electronic system ensures accurate and efficient billing system; meaning the facility can easily plan with projected financial output. The system has also benefited the government health care organization such as Centre Disease Control and Prevention. Vital data on various diseases are tracked overtime and sound evidence-based conclusions are produced for public consumption (Fridsma, 2008).
Perspectives of Healthcare Providers
Many healthcare providers have welcomed the implementation of the electronic records system. The system has enabled increase in the workflow, meaning that the care providers can balance their work and other personal life activities. The system has also led to increased confidence among the providers because of the safety and accuracy. Healthcare providers have also developed increased satisfaction with their work because of the increased quality of care (Ventres, 2011).
There are no outright disadvantages of the electronic record system; the only disadvantage is the capital intensive nature of the system. The installation of the system and training of the healthcare workers requires a lot of money. The solution to the disadvantages is proper financial planning (Fridsma, 2008).
Fridsma, D. (2008). Electronic Health Records: The HHS Perspective. Computer, 24-26.
Lancet, T. (2013). Electronic Health Records. The Lancet, 2058-2058.
Sobel, A. (2008). The Move toward Electronic Health Records. Computer, 22-23.
Stanberry, K. (2010). US and Global Efforts to Expand the use of Electronic Health Records. Records Management Journal, 214-224.
Ventres, W. (2011). Electronic Health Records. Academic Medicine, 1456-1457.