Digital Health Records for Enhanced Patient Outcomes
THE HEALTHCARE LANDSCAPE IS CHANGING, AND PATIENT CENTRIC CARE IS WHERE THE FOCUS IS.
Healthcare professionals are taking advantage of the digital health records to transform their services and provide a more coordinated approach in the patient journey. Having the right tools, in the right place, at the right time, ensures practice efficiency, better care to patients, and an exceptional healthcare experience.
Digital health records are transforming the way specialists make important, clinical decisions in every medical realm from rheumatology to gynaecology. These secure digital records include everything from medical histories to allergies, admissions histories, care plans, pathology reports and specialists letters.
DIGITAL HEALTH RECORDS HELP SPECIALISTS MAKE BETTER CLINICAL DECISIONS
Specialist appointments are notoriously short, but electronic medical records allow consultants to ‘get to know’ a patient before they even arrive in the consulting rooms. By preparing for each patient beforehand, specialists can diagnose and create treatment plans faster and more accurately on the spot.
One study of electronic health records in rheumatology said: “The integration of mobile devices to EHRs (electronic health records) and existing patient documentation systems might lead to more frequent, remote and continuous documentation of key outcome parameters’ and other measures facilitating new optimised treat-to-target and individual management concepts.”
Essentially, as digital health record use expands, patient care is enhanced while making specialist care superior.
DIGITAL HEALTH RECORDS MEAN PATIENTS DON’T HAVE TO REMEMBER THEIR OWN HEALTH DETAILS
Many patients with countless co-morbidities can’t remember the medical names of their conditions or their medications. Instead of putting the onus of memory on the patient, an electronic medical record documents these details so nothing is forgotten.
Similarly, many scan results are still given in hard copy to a patient. If the patient forgets the envelope and is forced to relay the results, a precious specialist appointment may be wasted. Even worse, a specialist may be forced to order repeat testing if the results can’t be located. Digital health records give the specialist immediate access to pathology and radiology results, even if the patient or GP still possesses the hard copy.
ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS PREVENT THE DUPLICATION OF SENSITIVE DISCUSSIONS
Many specialists such as gynaecologists and reproductive specialists know sensitive patient discussions are of paramount importance. These discussions are difficult for patients and often emotionally taxing. If a specialist is booked out or away when a patient needs an urgent appointment, patients may be forced to have the same discussion with a different specialist. Digital health records document case goals and the outcomes of sensitive conversations to prevent the patient from going through the stress of these discussions again.
ENHANCING PATIENT CARE IS KEY TO DIGITAL MEDICAL TOOLS
Enhancing patient care is the essence of the success and implementation of digital health records in modern medical consulting. This enhanced care is thanks to the tool providing easy access for clinicians, and allowing patients to access their own health information. A study of ehealth in rheumatology said: “[Electronic health records] allow modern real-time clinical routine patient care with high quality standards and facilitate patients to participate in their health care process immediately.”
DIGITAL HEALTH RECORDS IMPROVE INSIGHTS INTO SPECIALIST DISEASES
Specialists in every field constantly seek new and updated information on their specific domain, and digital health records are leading the way in consolidating up-to-the-minute information about specific patients.
The study of electronic health records in rheumatology agreed: “When data from EHR becomes available for research, registries, and other secondary usage, it will thereby lead to improved knowledge and new process flows in Rheumatology health care.”
PATIENTS CAN’T EDIT SPECIALIST LETTERS
With the emergence of digital health records, some specialists have been sceptical as they’re concerned patients can edit the information they have access to. This is absolutely not correct. Great digital health records platforms, like Lifecard, ensure access to patients is granted, but they absolutely can’t edit specialist notes, discharge summaries, treatment plans or letters.
SPECIALISTS MUST RELY ON CLINICAL REASONING WHEN ASKED FOR A SECOND OPINION
Many patients see specialists for a second opinion. While a digital health record documents every medical interaction the patient has had, it’s important to keep an open mind to prevent being blind-sided by rare, outlying cases. Seeing the notes from a colleague with a clear diagnosis can create a blinkered view of a patient’s condition, but clinical decision making is still as central to specialist care as ever, despite the integration of technology. In this way, digital health records encourage more thorough, informed clinical reasoning, enhancing rather than limiting the scope of specialist medical practice.
Digital health records and their hosting platforms are transforming specialist practice and patient care. Not only is the burden of memory recall alleviated from patients, the awful process of duplicate testing and relaying important yet incomprehensible information is also eliminated. Specialists themselves can enjoy a more streamlined process of diagnosis and treatment plan creation, enhancing the efficiency of their practice. Digital health records are an essential part of modern specialty consulting, and by choosing a private hosting platform, you are choosing safety, privacy and security for you and your patients.