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Replacing Paper Records with an Electronic Health Record, or EHR

Part of the Electronic Health Records For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The electronic health record gives you an opportunity to improve the patient experience. Because the EHR has the ability to manage most aspects of your practice's everyday operations, the physician and staff workflow is streamlined, allowing for more quality time spent with patients. Check out this table to compare a paper-based system with EHR:

Paper-Based System EHR System
Paper charts are easy to misfile. Electronic files are fully searchable and backed up on a server.
Charts rarely include preventive care guidelines, which are often complex and difficult to commit to memory. Electronic charts are linked to preventive care guidelines and updated as information changes.
Identification of patient characteristics is often difficult and time-consuming. Patient characteristics are fully searchable and linked to patient history.
Drug recalls are difficult to communicate and cross-reference with affected patients. Patient files can be flagged for drug recalls and updates.
Difficult to use for chronic disease management. Patient groups can be set up and managed.
Time must be taken to pull charts and refile. Charts are updated and e-filed instantly.
Handwritten or voicemail appointment reminders have to be sent each day by a staff member. Automatic appointment reminders are sent from the EHR.
Scheduling is coordinated by staff member. Scheduling can be automated.
Insurance cards are copied and the information keyed in. Insurance cards are scanned and instantly put into system.
A staff person communicates about billing issues. The EHR system sends billing reminders.
Clinical encounter information often is transcribed and retyped into chart, often causing human error. Chart forms remove opportunity for human error.
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Electronic Health Records For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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