How EHR improves quality of care in care homes

What is EHR?

An EHR, or electronic health record, is an electronic version of an individual’s medical history. It provides a comprehensive view of the person’s health, as it incorporates both their medical history, and input from all healthcare providers involved in their care. This data could be stored online, on an electronic device or on an internal network.

What are the benefits of using EHR in a care home setting?

Improved resident care delivery and monitoring

Record keeping has always been a vital part of care; recording key data about a resident helps staff better understand how to deliver general care, medications and rehabilitation. In a care home setting, an EHR enables better resident care delivery and monitoring, with staff having instant access to a resident’s healthcare information and clinical data at any time, anywhere in the care home. This also enables point of care recording in real time. The data can then be instantly analysed, shared and acted upon to further improve a resident’s care.

Improved safety

Using EHRs reduces the risk of medical error by improving the accuracy and clarity of medical records and enabling staff to check medications and dosages. Digital record keeping also reduces test duplication and treatment delays.

Ability to share health data with residents and relatives

Digital records support person-centred care and connected health, as residents feel more connected to their own healthcare, have easy access to information and are empowered to be involved in decisions made about their care. EHRs mean that relatives can also have access to a resident’s records and are able to monitor their care – potentially from anywhere in the world. When care home staff, service users and families are all able to easily access healthcare information, it can improve confidence in the care being delivered – on both sides.

Improved reporting, data security and health management

Keeping paper records leaves care home staff open to making mistakes; paper records can also be cumbersome to store and dispose of securely. Use of EHRs means that care homes can streamline reporting and health management, improve data security and ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Staff can record key information quickly and conveniently, using secure systems, and share it instantly with other health professionals.

Coordinates care among different healthcare providers

Sharing paper records with other care providers can be a challenge. Electronic record keeping helps coordinate different healthcare providers and professionals involved in a resident’s care, as all the information is kept in one place and readily accessible by all involved. Records can be easily shared between professionals, saving the resident or their carers from having to recall their medical history and details of medications.

Saves time and money

EHRs help care homes save time, resources and money. With record keeping made so much quicker and easier, care home staff staff are able to spend more quality time with patients – no longer needing to spend hours every day completing paperwork, they are able to focus the majority of their time and attention on providing the best possible care. With residents and carers able to access key data at the touch of a button, care homes are able to provide a more efficient and cost effective service.

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