Advancements in technology have allowed people access to information and services faster than ever before. Car owners can skip the often-stressful trip to the license branch and renew their plates online. Customers can pay nearly all of their bills online, eliminating a lot of wasted paper. This also makes it easier to keep track of due dates.
The medical field has been slow to adapt to the recent technological revolution. Many hospitals make use of the latest diagnostic equipment, but continue to store all patient data on paper. Both doctors and patients cite concerns over expense vs return or the security of digital records. However, electronic record keeping has many benefits over paper records and they prove to outweigh any negative aspects.
Recent advancements allow doctors to organize files more efficiently and enable near real-time tracking for high risk patients. If these advancements are built upon effectively, both medical professionals and their patients will benefit from faster, more detailed analysis and a unified medical record system.
Advancements in Health Record Technology
Sprint’s M2M healthcare initiative is a prime example of a recent advancement in electronic record keeping. They offer doctors new abilities, like GPS tracking for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. They also give doctors faster, more unified access to patient data, such as records and test results. Other companies are trying to digitize doctors’ offices by moving all record keeping to secure cloud servers and moving points of contact from clipboards to tablets and desktop computers.
Most companies that offer electronic medical records allow their clients to store their files locally, which generally prevents sharing patient records among different hospital networks. At this time no standard exists for file storage, which is a major barrier to some of the best benefits that electronic record keeping has to offer.
The Future of Electronic Record keeping
Sometimes a patient’s life can be saved when storing patient information on an electronic record because a doctor can receive an alert faster when a patient as an allergy to a medication or they have knowledge to avoid certain tests that could put the patient in danger. In the future patient will have immediate access to their medical information, as easily as they can access the health savings account.
Allowing patients easy access to their health data can make them more aware of their health risks and can increase the chances that they will seek treatment when serious problems arises. While recent advancement in technology have allowed doctors to becoming increasingly connected with patient data, it will take the major shift in thinking before the electronic record keeping is widely adopted.
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