Risks and Rewards of EHR Portals


As technology continues to grow at a rapid pace, EHR portals have become the new standard in many healthcare facilities. An EHR portal or Electronic Health Record is designed to replace the traditional chart. This paperless alternative is being implemented in the majority of practices. Like any new technology, EHR portals come with both risk and rewards, so it’s time to break down the new technology that could make its way into your facility.

Risks of EHR Portals

Planning Issues

Many facilities that want to implement an EHR program simply fail before they even get started. With larger facilities, organizing and implementing a new program can be a tough task when many departments are involved. If not rolled out correctly, oversight and a variety of other issues can arise. In a career where communication is vital, a lack of organization can lead to serious consequences.

Liability

Using a portal, patients can:

  • Update their own chart
  • Request refills and schedule appointments or be reminded to do so
  • Exchange messages with you and your staff
  • Read their own records that you have made available
  • Read patient education materials

While this promotes transparency in your practice, it also poses a variety of risks that deal with liability. Giving patients access to the information is a great way to show that you’re doing everything possible to take care of them. However, giving this access also holds you and your staff to a higher standard and increases your practice’s liability risks.

Privacy Breaches

HIPPA compliance and data protection pose serious risks for healthcare providers. Studies have actually shown that health information is more valuable than credit-card information. That being said, you should have security features in place to prevent any fraud or theft from EHR portals.

Rewards of EHR Portals

Liability

While EHR portals do pose a liability for practices that are implementing the program, they also help you with liability as well. The program will hopefully allow you to bridge the gap of communication, allowing all areas of your practice to communicate seamlessly. A Patient Portal Policies and User Agreement lays out how the portal is to be used and obtains the patient’s statement of proven understanding of those terms and of his or her willingness to abide by them. This will prevent any issues that arise and will prevent your practice from being sued. EHR portals are designed to make your life, and your patient’s life a lot easier, so be sure to work together to provide the best possible care.

Educate Patients

Another great benefit that EHR portals offer is the ability to share educational information with patients. Not only can they get information about their own medical issues, they’ll have access to a variety of different resources to help educate them on their medical issues. Patients can access information like prescription details, surgery procedures, and a variety of other pieces of info that will allow them to recover peacefully.

Provide Medical History

Another great benefit of an EHR program is that a patient’s entire medical history can be stored on the program. Doctors will be able to see exactly how a patient has been treated in the past. Clinical summaries will allow doctors to be made aware of allergies or previous health issues that could pose a risk to their current situation. The program will allow doctors to get a quick overview of patient history without having the do a full interview.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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