According to a recent study by the Annals of Family Medicine, clinicians spend nearly 90 minutes in their …
As technology evolves, it is important for healthcare organizations to keep up with the latest trends in order to improve patient care. One such trend is upgrading Electronic Health Records or EHRs. EHR upgrades can provide numerous benefits for healthcare organizations, such as increased efficiency and improved data security. Therefore, upgrading the EHR system of health organizations should be one of the biggest priorities of health-system leaders.
In this blog post, you will be able to explore the following:
- What Are the Benefits of an EHR?
- Why Is EHR Upgrade Necessary?
- How Frequently Do Well-known EHRs Upgrade?
1. What Are the Benefits of an EHR?
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have revolutionized the healthcare industry. By digitizing patient medical records, EHRs have made it possible for healthcare providers to share important information more efficiently and securely. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, EHRs are expected to play an increasingly important role in providing high-quality care.
Some of the biggest benefits of EHRs are as follows:
- EHRs provide complete, up-to-date, and accurate information about patients
- It enables quick access to patient records to help initiate more efficient and coordinated care
- It improves communication and interaction between the provider and the patient
- It enables more reliable and safer prescribing
- EHRs also help providers to diagnose patients efficiently and reduce the medical errors
- It helps in promoting complete and legible documentation as well as streamlining accurate billing and coding
- It helps to enhance the security and privacy of patient data
2. Why Is EHR Upgrade Necessary?
It is quite clear that Electronic Health Records, or EHRs form an essential part of the modern healthcare environment. However, it should be noted that upgrading the EHR software on a regular basis is equally as important. Without upgrades, inefficient and outdated EHR software can be troublesome, and it could be as bad as not having it at all.
Some of the top reasons why upgrading your EHR from time to time is necessary are as follows:
It helps in increasing the overall efficiency and productivity of health organizations
Upgrades provide improved and new templates for medical professionals and physicians. New software often makes it easier for clinicians to use and understand, as well as helps in making the process of tracking patient data easier over time.
Helps in increasing adaptability
The new upgraded software is usually more adaptable to various kinds of devices than older ones.The new software can receive inputs from tablets, digital pens, voice recordings, and so on.
Helps in improving patient care
Upgrading the EHR software improves it in a way that enables it to help medical professionals monitor a patient’s progress better. New software can help in more efficient tracking and comparing relevant data over certain time periods.
Helps in increasing patient satisfaction
Updated EHR makes it easier for patients as well to access their own medical records. This makes the staff spend less time helping patients find their information as well as fewer office calls from the patient’s side, which saves time. Also, upgrades make the new software easier to use for the patients.
Help to eliminate tedious office tasks
EHR upgrades make the process of updating records easier through improved features in the new software. This saves both time and money. The upgraded system also improves the process of billing and scheduling tasks.
3. How Frequently Do Well-known EHRs Upgrade?
Epic, or Epic Systems, is a cloud-based EHR solution that caters to numerous specialties. They offer the standard range of the ‘core’ EHR features and aim to succeed through their innovative solutions. Epic’s list of functionalities includes interoperability, revenue cycle management, artificial intelligence, mobile access, and telemedicine software development. They hold a major portion of the EHR market share across the healthcare industry, along with Oracle Cerner.
Epic calls for installing new releases or EHR updates four times a year.
Oracle Cerner is another cloud-based EHR software solution used by health organizations of different specialties and sizes. They are a more popular choice in ambulatory and clinical care. They cater to over 40 medical field specialties. The functionalities offered by Cerner are similar to the ones offered by Epic. However, unlike Epic, Cerner provides users with real-time data. Recently, this popular EHR vendor announced an acquisition by the tech giant Oracle.
Cerner does not necessarily suggest any fixed timeline for EHR upgrades. It rolls out new upgrades as per the software requirement or when there is a new law being implemented.
Meditech is an on-premise EHR system, which enables healthcare providers to communicate with patients virtually, access patient records, perform administrative tasks, and enable pre-registration. This platform includes a variety of tools like a scalable cloud platform, mobile solutions, as well as Meditech as a Service (MaaS).
Meditech is similar to Cerner in terms of its EHR upgrade policy. It also does not have any fixed EHR upgrade timeline and recommends upgrades as and when the software would require.
While EHR upgrades can be a disruptive process, it is quite clear that it is a necessary step in the evolution of healthcare technology. It is also very important to understand the difference between upgrading the software and updating it. Sometimes, even when an entire upgrade is not required, it might be necessary to keep the software updated from time to time due to the ever-changing rules and policies of the healthcare industry. By choosing the right EHR vendor and following the required regulatory standards, you can ensure that your upgrade goes as smoothly and securely as possible.