The healthcare industry has experienced an important shift in the way patient information is managed and shared in recent years. Electronic health records (EHRs) have enhanced patient care by providing complete and up-to-date patient information, as well as quick access and secure sharing for healthcare providers. In fact, this technology has become so vital, the market is expected to reach $38.7 billion by 2030, due to the increasing shift toward cloud-based EHR platforms.
“Technical debt continues to hinder a health system’s ability to transform the end-to-end model of care, deliver institutional sustainability and accelerate growth,” said Trent Sanders, Vice President of Healthcare at Kyndryl, which recently collaborated with Care New England, a nonprofit healthcare system in Rhode Island, to improve the quality of patient care. “The integration of cloud-based EHRs into healthcare facilities has introduced a new era of efficiency, operational improvement and patient-centricity. Migrating crucial data to the cloud will only further unlock the benefits for caregivers and patients.”
Cloud-based electronic health records offer many benefits for healthcare executives, personal caregivers and patients alike. Here are the top five advantages of EHRs.
Benefits of Cloud-based EHRs for Caregivers and Patients
1. Enhanced care
For personal caregivers, speed to knowledge is key, and digital applications are increasingly becoming the avenue in which they receive vital patient information — whether it be the results from radiology or a patient’s EHR.
Cloud-based EHRs benefit caregivers by streamlining their workflow and reducing the use of multiple, complex technology systems. When a cloud-based platform serves as the single access point to patient information, caregivers can more efficiently track medical histories, input notes and communicate with other healthcare providers. Cloud-based EHRs can help lower the risk for human errors, improve overall efficiency and allow caregivers to focus more on providing quality care to their patients.
2. Improved patient accessibility and engagement
EHRs provide numerous benefits when it comes to patient engagement. Patients gain easier access to their own medical records and test results through secure online portals, allowing them to stay informed and actively participate in their care. Additionally, cloud-based EHRs enable patients to communicate with their healthcare providers, schedule appointments, request prescription refills and access educational resources. That all helps to foster a sense of empowerment and involvement in their healthcare journey. EHRs improve clinician productivity as well, allowing professionals to respond to patients faster and more efficiently.
The integration of cloud-based EHRs into healthcare facilities has introduced a new era of efficiency, operational improvement and patient-centricity. Migrating crucial data to the cloud will only further unlock the benefits for caregivers and patients.
Benefits of EHRs for Healthcare Executives
3. Cost savings
Rising costs of medical supplies and equipment, along with labor shortages, have recently put many independent healthcare systems in a financial pinch. By implementing cloud-based EHRs, healthcare organizations can optimize their IT infrastructure, revenue cycle and supply chain holistically — this enables them to invest back into their institutions. Not only do EHRs facilitate more efficient and accurate billing and coding practices — minimizing potential mistakes — but they also provide qualitative benefits. With consistent data sets, healthcare professionals can deliver valuable insights that will help them make faster, more informed decisions, which can reduce overall healthcare expenses.
4. Strengthened cybersecurity and data privacy
Cybersecurity is a concern for most organizations, with the realization that data breaches are not a matter of “if” but “when,” particularly as healthcare embraces digitization and remote healthcare technology. The increase in electronic devices due to remote work environments has led to a larger attack surface, amplifying potential threats.
Contrary to initial concerns, EHRs — also called EMRs (electronic medical records) — are generally more secure than paper-based systems. That’s because they rely on encrypted data and stringent authentication protocols, minimizing unauthorized access and privacy breaches. Migrating patient records to a cloud-based EHR system helps equip healthcare organizations with robust tools to fortify data protection and mitigate risks, including ransomware threats.
5. Improved disaster recovery
With the rise in cyberattacks and more frequent natural disasters, recovering an IT environment after an event can be a laborious and costly endeavor. A cloud solution for healthcare systems works to mitigate these threats by enabling healthcare organizations to back up patient health data, expediting recovery and bolstering their disaster recovery strategy.
By transitioning EHRs to the cloud, the risk of crashes and downtime can be reduced — an essential measure for an industry as vital as healthcare, where patient care and safety are at stake. Additionally, the digital medical record format ensures that vital patient information remains secure and accessible, even during disasters.
The Future of Healthcare
As the global healthcare community continues to embrace digital transformation, it’s important to understand the advantages of EHRs. By harnessing the power of the cloud, healthcare providers and patients can benefit from a more connected, informed and patient-centric healthcare system.