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What to Know About Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Electronic Health Records (EHR) are a system of electronic health information, pertaining to an individual patient. These records contain a range of important patient data, including their medical history, allergies, current medications, immunization status, and personal statistics, including age and weight, and billing records. These records were introduced as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was signed into law in 2009, in order to promote the meaningful use of health information technology.

Have you implemented EHR into your own practice? If not, keep in mind that the HITECH act stipulates that healthcare providers will be offered certain financial incentives for effectively demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs until 2015. After 2015, however, you may be charged a penalty for each year you do not have an EHR system! Because of this act, doctors in all specialties and fields are now switching their own paper medical records over to electronic health records.

Practices which will be eligible for the financial incentives must demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR system. So, what exactly does "meaningful use" of an EHR system refer to? "Meaningful use" is defined as transitioning to an accredited EHR system, and adding a patient portal to the practice's website so that patients can have full and secure access to their personal health records and information online at any time. Meaningful use also refers to the addition of quality patient content, which informs patients about various health conditions, treatments, and procedures. Many patients enjoy the benefits and convenience of having easy access to both their medical records and other helpful medical information all in the same place!

Many of the practices and healthcare providers that have switched to EHR see an increase in both convenience and efficiency, for themselves and their patients. Electronic health information also allows doctors to have nearly instant access to a patient's chart. To learn more about how you can quickly and easily add an EMR and or EHR portal to your practice's website, click here.

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