Preventable medical errors result in more than 250,000 deaths each year, according to a Johns Hopkins Medicine study. Unfortunately, ambulatory practices regularly face two of the most common reasons for medical malpractice claims: incorrect diagnosis and prescription errors.
Researchers in the Hopkins study say most errors are due to systematic issues like:
- Poor care coordination
- Lack of and underused safety protocols
- Disorganized or disparate insurance networks
- Varied practice patterns and care quality
However, your Electronic Health Records (EHR) software, along with integrated electronic prescribing, can be a powerful weapon to safeguard patients (and your practice).
5 Ways an EHR Protects Your Patients
- Patient information at your fingertips
A proper EHR solution enables clinicians to efficiently document and file patient information into a single database. A study published by HealthIT.com reports that 94% of physicians say their EHR helps make records more accessible. Having a comprehensive picture of your patient’s health facilitates a more accurate diagnosis, fewer duplicate or unnecessary procedures, as well as better decision-making and improved care analysis. EHR and EMR workflows also foster better coordination among staff and reduce the risk of treatment gaps or incomplete data entry. In fact, 75% of doctors surveyed in the same HealthIT.com study feel that using an EHR helps them provide improved care.
- Better communication between providers
With interoperability between EHR systems, patient records and information can be more easily shared with other providers and specialties to improve the coordination and quality of care. For example, lab orders can be requested and results reviewed directly within the EHR; and as a result, quicker diagnosis and subsequent treatment are more likely. Plus, patient charts and information can be transmitted to other providers at the point-of-care and with mobile solutions.
- Improved health outcomes
Research from the National Institutes of Health found that EHRs have a significant effect on workflows, policies, and practices that promote patient welfare, with only 5% of clinicians indicating a negative impact on the quality of care. Additionally, electronic prescribing has been proven to reduce medication errors from 42.5% of prescriptions to 6.6%. Plus, unlike paper and manual workflows, EHR and e-prescribing software provides alerts for allergies, drug-to-drug interactions, and drug-to-condition errors. And Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances, —mandated for Medicare Part D and across much of the United State—protects against potential substance abuse and opioid addiction. For example, New York state, the first to enact EPCS regulations, has experienced a 53% decrease in opioid prescriptions.
- Third-party certification of effectiveness
EHR certification from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information IT (ONC HIT) was initially created as part of the Meaningful Use incentive. It has since been expanded to support computerized provider order entry (CPOE), electronic prescribing, and drug and allergy interactions. The most recent 2015 edition must include clinical decision-support capabilities, such as adverse health alerts. It’s important to find an EHR solution that is certified and secure, in order to…
- Better partnership with patients
Patients are their own best advocates, and having direct access to their digital health data and protected health information (PHI) is an important element in modern care. Using EHR-integrated online portals, patients can upload documents, communicate with providers, retrieve follow-up care instructions, review lab results, and complete and submit intake forms. By giving patients more control over their health and decision-making, they tend to be healthier and experience better clinical outcomes. And patients are onboard—according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, 82% of patients say EHR systems help their providers correct errors, fill in missing medical information, and avoid medical errors.
Don’t Take Chances with Patient Safety
Patient engagement, provider expertise, and robust healthcare software form a three-legged stool of high-quality care that helps physicians avoid the risk of incorrect diagnoses and medication errors that threaten ambulatory practices. RXNT’s EHR software with integrated e-prescribing is designed to maximize clinical outcomes and patient well-being. Intuitive workflows, prescription alerts, interoperability, and a patient engagement portal address the areas where you might be vulnerable. Take a look at our proven EHR and Electronic Prescribing with an easy, no-risk demo.
Want more info on safeguarding your practice against risk? Download our FREE Risk Awareness Toolkit.