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Study: Electronic Medical Records Improve Patient Care And Reduce Workplace Costs

The use of electronic medical records has decreased costs and patient mortality rates for hospitals and other healthcare providers that use them, according to a study recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The trend has also begun to increase the need for eNotarizations, like in California where advance healthcare directives can be electronically notarized.

According to the report, the increased efficiency and quality of patient care due to growing use of healthcare information technology (HIT) is yielding positive results in many regions of the country. In Texas, hospitals using advanced HIT had fewer patient complications and were able to significantly reduce operating costs. In New York City, three dialysis centers reported a 48 percent drop in patient mortality after adopting HIT systems.

Some healthcare staff expressed concerns about switching from paper records to electronic ones, especially medical identity theft. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, whose own medical practice switched to electronic records after its paper records were destroyed in a natural disaster, said that the benefits of electronic records far outweigh the problems transitioning from paper. “The results are better care for patients and new opportunities for the physician and staff to improve quality outcomes.”

Key Points:

  • HHS reports electronic health records and other health information technology (HIT) are reducing healthcare costs and improving patient care

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

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