Nov 29, 2021

EHR Trends to Watch in 2021 and Beyond

  • By Emily,
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EHR Trends to Watch in 2021 and Beyond

Electronic health records (EHRs) have evolved significantly since their inception and continue to evolve with flexible and customizable functionalities that improve the clinical decision-making process. Medical transcription services save up time for healthcare providers to focus on patient care by allowing them to manage the record-keeping process. According to recent reports, EHRs are poised to play an even more influential role in healthcare, thanks to significant advancements in health information technology. Here are seven notable EHR trends to keep an eye on in 2021 and beyond.

Voice Recognition and Natural Language Processing

Voice recognition tools are primarily used to dictate reports and clinical notes into the EHR, reducing the stress associated with clinician interactions with the system.  Clinicians can use voice assistants to engage with patients, search their medical history, and place orders using the EHR. Natural language processing (NLP) is used in speech-to-text applications to convert sound into text.

Focus on Reducing Errors

The ECRI Institute highlighted multiple EHR-related errors in their 2020 report. One issue was a large number of warnings, alerts, and messages that might make clinicians feel overwhelmed. Significant events may go unnoticed and unaddressed as a result of this. Another concern is medication timing errors. According to the paper, EHR configuration and usability issues can cause a discrepancy between the software-generated sequence and the medication’s prescribed administration time. Providers will undoubtedly strive to solve such technological concerns to reduce errors and assure patient safety.

Advanced-Data Analytics

Demographics, medical history, allergies, laboratory test results, and other information are included in each patient’s digital record. Managers can use EHR data analytics to develop customized reports using real-time data. The possibilities of how healthcare analytics might be used are expanding as technology advances at a rapid pace. For more significant impact, the future of healthcare analytics will rely on technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing.

Increasing Patient Engagement

Patient engagement has always been a concern, but the pandemic has brought it to a new level of prominence. EHRs are being utilized to send text message appointment reminders to patients, which has resulted in a considerable reduction in cancellation rates.

Cloud-Based Initiatives

Leading EHR businesses are collaborating with big tech, to promote cloud-based initiatives. In December 2020, for example, Medtech partnered with Google Cloud to launch a new cloud-based, subscription-based EHR platform. The recent Cloud Platform, an expansion of Medtech’s cloud-based Expanse EHR, includes a virtual care feature that allows new and existing patients to obtain emergent virtual care through the provider’s website.

Blockchain

Electronic health records (EHRs) include crucial and highly sensitive private information for diagnosis and treatment in healthcare. EHRs have various advantages, including assistance with medical prescriptions, enhancing disease management, and reducing significant medication errors. It is critical to share healthcare data to improve the quality of healthcare services.

EHRs, on the other hand, have interoperability concerns. According to a recent study published in the Health Informatics Journal, Blockchain has the potential to change the way electronic health records are exchanged and maintained by safeguarding them across a decentralized peer-to-peer network. By making EHRs more efficient and reliable, it can establish a new model for health information exchange (HIE).

Preparing for 5G

Telehealth and IoT devices are becoming more prevalent in healthcare organizations and systems. To reap the benefits of the next generation of internet speed and the value it delivers for telehealth and other wireless clinical applications that are redefining healthcare delivery, the healthcare industry must adopt 5G. Several healthcare applications will benefit from next-generation connectivity, including better data management, improved handling of large imaging files, remote patient monitoring and virtual care, and more.

Wrapping Up

Medical transcription outsourcing will remain significant to maintain accurate documentation even when technology-driven initiatives such as natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition (SR) are incorporated into EHR systems. While these new technologies can reduce physical stress by reducing time spent on EHR data entry activities, research suggests that having a medical transcriptionist review of SR-generated documents enhances the quality of medical records, minimizes errors, and promotes patient safety.

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