Let us preface everything by stating that an EHR can do many amazing things for your medical practice. It is a useful tool that, when used in the right way, can make many aspects of your industry a lot easier. Productivity can go up. You will have fewer errors in data entry. Diagnosing and treating patients’ conditions becomes easier. All these qualities make EHR a highly valuable asset.
With this said, there are still shortcomings that should be known upfront regarding this technology. Understanding the limitations of EHR beforehand can help you account for them when picking out a system for your medical practice.
If data gets entered into an EHR system the right way, organizations will have an easy way to see snapshots regarding your patients. The only problem is that some snapshots do not always provide complete pictures.
This is because interoperability can be a struggle for EHRs. If information gets put into systems that have no way of communicating with the EHR, the record in said EHR will have some data missing. You do not want to have an incomplete set of patient data because it can be a hindrance when trying to provide the highest quality of care that you can.
EHRs are wonderful tools that provide safety alerts in real-time regarding drug-disease, drug-drug, or drug-allergy risks. The problem is that clinicians get an overwhelming number of alerts, and this can get them to become fatigued from all the alerts.
Oversaturation of alerts can cause clinicians to grow numb to them. This means more alerts could go ignored, even if action should be taken. As a result, the safety of patients can be compromised.
There are some EHRs that have systems in place for emails and text messages. The problem is that these systems can be simplistic at times, and they do not often get treated as main parts of your EHR system.
Depending on simple systems like these can compromise safety further if communication provides information that is either lacking and/or unclear. This doesn’t even mention how poor communication can influence the quality-of-care patients get.
Technology is becoming increasingly prominent in the medical field, and this increase in technology means personal interactions are on the decline. When clinicians are constantly trying to navigate EHR systems and get patients’ medical records completed as quickly as possible, patients may feel dehumanized. They might feel like nothing but numbers and metrics rather than actual people. This can anger patients, and it can sometimes even entice them to not bring up vital information just for the sake of ending an interaction sooner.
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