The benefits of an electronic health record (EHR) versus a paper-based system in

The benefits of an electronic health record (EHR) versus a paper-based system include:
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–      Access to authorized users: Paper-based systems make it easier for unauthorized users to access a patient’s chart where an EHR has more control over who has access to patient information as users must be granted access.
–      Encryption keeps information secure: All hospitals systems must comply with HIPAA and other privacy regulations, and EHRs can make this easier to maintain over paper-records. EHRs can be protected with encryption methods to keep patient information secure and confidential.
–      Data backup: EHRs can restore and backup data in unfortunate situations such as natural disasters (flood, fire) or the event of criminal trespassing/vandalism.
(O’Connor, 2020).
EHRs can also provide providers with information in formats paper-charts are not able to provide. Providers can view graphs of data such as weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure trends over time (Manca, 2015). EHRs also have the ability to provide treatment goals and alerts to remind providers of certain prevention/screening assessments that are due as well as alerts when patients have allergies or a drug-to-drug interaction when prescribing new medications (Manca, 2015).
I have worked with a variety of EHRs and have worked with a hybrid where new orders would be written in the patient’s chart before being inputted into the EHR. The paper charts were bulky and orders were difficult to read if the handwriting was illegible. EHRs have shown much benefit as there are no issues with trying to decipher a provider’s order which could put a patient’s life in jeopardy. EHRs have also been helpful in providing pop-up alerts if there is a potential drug-to-drug interaction or if a dose does not seem correct for that specific patient. It has also improved communication between nurses, providers, and patients.
References
Manca, D. P. (2015, October). Do electronic medical records improve quality of care? yes. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607324/.
O’Connor, S. (2020, January 15). 5 reasons why electronic health records are better than paper records. Advanced Data Systems Corporation. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.adsc.com/blog/reasons-why-ehr-software-is-more-secure-than-paper-based-records.

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