In 2009, the data was still limited, but today more and more hospitals are reporting the full implementation and integration of electronic health records systems. It was the University Mass Medical School that published information in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported that a surprising low percentage implemented full integration because of cost and maintenance barriers in 2009. This percentage has now changed due to now known benefits of a full integration.
At first, only the large and urban hospitals implemented full integration in their electronic health record systems. Many EHR programs were seen in clinics, but never fully across the board of local or mid-sized hospitals. This commonplace has since changed, as hospitals are seeing the true benefits from implementing electronic health record systems across every department in their facility.
With the increasing number of safety violations and growing concern in the media with regard to identity compromise and theft, hospitals are taking a stand to protect their patients’ sensitive information. Gone are the days of open files left unattended on desks or open access to private computer information. Today, policymakers and government regulations enforce the protection of patients within the healthcare system and hospitals take this issue seriously.
Benefits Perceived and Gained
What was once thought of as only a perception in healthcare, hospitals have now seen the true benefit of full integration of electronic medical records implementation. Extensive studies have been conducted in large and small hospital communities that lay out the vast benefits received from the patient to the physician. Benefits encompass patient care as well as streamlined billing, offering increased revenue for the facility and treating physician. The benefits are great and cannot or should not be ignored.
The primary benefit seen by large and small facilities is that the promise of improved quality within the healthcare center, along with the effectiveness provided to the organization has come to realization. It is no longer a theoretical concept, but has been seen firsthand to work if full integration is implemented.
Hospitals with advanced electronic health records systems report significant benefits from full integration of the system, as opposed to partial integration. Some of these benefits include patient safety improvement across every department, overall operational efficiencies and improvement, streamlined record keeping and billing that offers fiscally sound improvements and operations of improvement, clinical quality enhancement and overall improved patient care.
The patient care improvement and safety precautions recognized by the full integration of the electronic health record systems are among the top-mentioned benefits by physicians and healthcare professionals, not to mention the patient. Patients feel they are getting better care and attention, doctors feel that they can treat a patient effectively, and overall everyone is more content throughout the treatment phase and process. Administration becomes encouraged when they see the reporting numbers of operational improvements, and the entire system becomes more sound and established. Hospitals are now seeing the benefits of a full integration and realizing that partial implementation is no longer the way to go.