EHR compatibility and connectivity: two obstacles to patient care

See on Scoop.ithealthcare technology

Electronic health records (EHR) have revolutionized health care in many ways. Physicians, specialists, billing specialists—even patients, in some cases—have instant access to all the important information they need: lab test results, medications, drug allergies, and so on.


Except when they don’t. If a patient needs to go to a specialist outside his or her provider network, or to an emergency room outside the network, access to the patient’s records can regress from a click of a button to a series of phone calls, faxes, and piles of paper, even when both facilities have EHR systems. That’s because there is often little consistency between such systems, and patients have to rely on a busy human being to pull all the pertinent electronic data and get it to the requesting physician in a format he or she can read: usually, paper.


But even within a provider network, if the system network connection goes down, patient records are inaccessible. Whether an EHR system has an inherent connectivity problem, or whether it’s is installed on an insufficiently robust or poorly configured computer network, this problem still plagues even some large health care networks.




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