Throughout my medical school career, I have encountered various electronic health record (EHR) systems. From the era of having paper charts, and writing orders and notes in by hand, we have come a long way, where literally everything in a patient’s chart is virtually electronic. Some clinics do not have even paper charts anymore.
In my opinion, EHR systems were a great invention. The advantages of EHR systems are that health providers can easily type vitals, notes and orders into the EHR system without having to waste paper and/or time writing it by hand. Secondly, all the visits are easily organized, so that one can just simply click on a visit to see its details, and can look at previous visits without having to turn paper by paper. Thirdly, office space is saved and there is no need for files/charts and filing cabinets in the office. Also, the chart space that is needed on the desk in the examining room can be replaced by a laptop or a monitor that do not take that much space at all. Lastly, all the records are found online, and very easily accessible by all the health care providers of the system. This not only saves the health care providers’ time, but also the patients’ time, as he/she does not have to travel door to door to ask and receive records.
The newest advancement to EHR in my perspective is the patient portal system, where patients can access the online services through the comfort of their own home, book appointments, view and print lab/test results and keep track of their prescriptions. I would really like to see all hospitals in the nation use the same EHR system, so when patients travel from one clinic to the other, or one hospital to the other, all the records for the patient are accessible. However, I am not sure how feasible that is, but I think it is a great idea.
I am very excited for the advancement of technology in health care, and am so happy to be in a generation that is part of it.