Electronic Health Records Reduce Hospital Readmission
Electronic Health Records (EHR) provide patients with the ability to securely view all of their medical information electronically. Furthermore, electronic health records allow doctors to improve their quality of patient care, and improve efficiency in their practice. In addition to improving patient care, the data contained within the patient's EHR can provide vital information about their chances of readmission to the hospital.
How Electronic Health Records Can Reduce Hospital Readmission
- EHR data helps identify patients who are at the highest risk for readmission. The problem of being readmitted to the hospital begins once a patient is discharged. EHR is a valuable tool, which helps doctors and hospitals better identify patients who have the highest risk for readmission, and therefore need more medical attention. The data collected by EHR systems identifies patients most at-risk for being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge. Risk factors for hospital readmission measured by the EHR include the acuity of the patient's illness, how long that patient was hospitalized, and how many times they were admitted to the emergency room in the last 6 months.
- EHR can improve a patient's health literacy. Many patients lack proper health literacy, meaning that they do not have the ability to obtain, process, or understand basic health information which will help them make appropriate decisions about their treatment and recovery. Some EHR systems allow multiple healthcare practitioners to contribute educational materials to the patient's electronic discharge papers which will aid them in their recovery. Improved health literacy also reduces the patient's chances of hospital readmission.
- EHR can improve a patient's medication compliance following discharge. Medication issues are perhaps the common reason for patients to be readmitted to the for hospital. In some cases, the patient may be taking multiple medications at once, which place them at increased risk for adverse effects after discharge. By using an EHR, patients will be better able to monitor proper dosage and usage of their medication, significantly reducing their chances for hospital readmission.
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