The Top 3 EHR Trends to Look Out for 2017
Electronic health records systems have advanced subsequently over the years. Just a decade ago, nine out of ten doctors in the U.S. managed patient’s records by hand and had to keep them in color-coded files. But with the arrival of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 changed the adoption landscape for electronic health records, with 87% of office-based physicians and 96% of hospitals now using EHRs.
As their adoption rate continues to increase, EHR softwares are becoming an integral part of the healthcare experience for both providers and patients. The advancement in technology, usability, interoperability, meaningful use (MU) and regulatory compliances are also impacting the emerging changes in EHRs.
Let’s review the trends that will be shaping the future of EHRs in 2017.
1. Cloud Technology Will Make EHRs More Mobile
Healthcare is no exception to being one of the many verticals in the US that are switching their software applications on the cloud. Cloud technology is making it cost efficient for facilities to implement and update their EHR plugins and analytics tools online. Plus, frequent investment in new hardware isn’t necessary when you’re using the cloud.
Moreover, EHRs are steadily becoming mobile-friendly. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, healthcare workers need constant accessibility to a patient’s records and the easiest way to do this is from their mobile device. According to a recent survey of nurses, 72% said that EHR implementation led to fewer errors and increased patient safety.
EHR mobility is also streamlining workflows as mobile data transmission enters information once, rather than multiple times, allowing for quicker and more accurate information. This is ultimately leading to greater productivity and improved overall patient care.
2. Patient Access will See an Increment
With advancement in technology, the patient experience is also going digital in the United States. Medical consumers are leading the way by accessing their health records with EHRs and using digital tools, such as wearables and apps, to manage their health. More and more patients are now retrieving their medical records as the patient participation in accessing their EHRs have almost doubled in 2 years.
To have more patients participating in the digital EHR access, providers will have to provide an easy user interface or as we mentioned above, should make their EHRs available on mobiles. Further, the format and language of a patient’s medical records, reports and other type of information should be easy and simple to read and understand for a patient.
3. Security Will Remain a Concern
The cybercrime industry never sleeps and is notorious for attacking the healthcare related entities then and now. The recent Wannacry Ransomeware attack just put forward the wide lapses in the security of EHRs.
EHRs are rapidly becoming a major target for hackers. Identity theft is the biggest motivation behind such crimes as the personal information, financial information, billing and banking records contained in patient records are everything a hacker needs.
Encrypted databases, role based access control (RBAC), and PCI compliance should be made mandatory as a part of the audit trails for EHRs.