How would electronic health recordcontribute to patient empowerment?
What is an electronic health record?• The electronic health record is a system where a patient’s health care information, demographic, medical history, medication, allergies immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology, images, vital signs, personal statistics- age, weight and billing information is recorded in a digital format and that information can be transferred between health facilities where the patient visits and among the health team who is caring for the patient. It is a transformation of a paper based system to a computerized system.
How is the electronic health record used?• Admission- a patient can use a patient portal/ kiosk to schedule appointments or use at a hospital setting when being admitted. From admission, discharge to continuous care a patient medical information is recorded and entered into the computer. They are part of the care as they can view details of their medical plan along with the health care provider.
Benefits of using the electronic health record• There are many benefits that can be derived from using the Electronic Health Record, the following are: Alert systems in place – alert the physician and patient are also informed when there are abnormal results, allergies and hypersensitivity to drugs – drug recall, time for routine procedures along with procedural preparation.
Benefits cont’dElectronic prescription will prevent potential and medication errors/ misplaced prescription by patients.Time and money saved travelling from point A-B to get results and to be medically reviewed, less waiting periods.Accurate, faster, earlier and shorter ways to communicate with health provider.
Benefits cont’d Prevention of medical errors from illegible hand writing. Better access to information using the Electronic Health Record facilitate greater access to information, providers need to diagnose health problem earlier and improve the health out come of patients, Electronic Health Record also allow information to be shared more easily among Doctors, hospitals and health system leading to better care.
Patient empowerment• Patient will like to be more involved I their own health care and the use of the Electronic Health Records will make it simpler and will help to empower patients to take a more active role in their health, view and discuss their health care information with families and doctors.
• They will ask more questions, be better informed about health issues, and therefore be able to make more conscious decision about treatment and lifestyles in collaboration with health care team and their families. Respect will be demanded and dignity in treatment.Reference:Carter J, What is the Electronic Health Record25/2012Sustains- EPF- European Patient forumwww.eu-patient.eu/initiative-Policy/Projects