To ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations when maintaining health records, the health providers must retain ease of access, legibility, and accuracy of medical data. Creating an efficient and reliable EHR system is very important to navigating through patients’ medical histories with convenience and security.
EHR stands for “Electronic Health Record” and mainly consists of a data-sharing, network-connected, enterprise-wide information system with software and hardware components. The computer hardware component of an EHR should be the primary concern of a healthcare organization. It is essential that users can easily connect to the EHR system to access and input information. Here are 3 options for implementing a helpful EHR environment.
The first option is to install desktop computers in one fixed location. The desktops will be hardwired and stationary. Many businesses continue to use desktops because they are inexpensive, easy to install, and a wide range of options for desktops. However, that does not mean that desktops are not without downsides. They take up more space than laptops and often require additional equipment to enable potentially important programs such as voice or handwriting-recognition applications. Because desktops are stationary, one must be installed in every room to access the EHR software.
The second option is to use laptops as a portable alternative to desktops. Laptops give staff more flexibility and allow an easy connection to wireless connections. A disadvantage of laptops is that many can be heavy and unwieldy. Laptops repairs can also cost much more than desktops and may have to be sent to an off-site shop to be fixed. We particularly like the Microsoft Surface Books due to the unique ability for them to be in a sterile area if your healthcare application calls for being inside of a sterile environment.
The third option, laptops, offer even more mobility than laptops. Although smaller, a good tablet can be just as powerful as desktops and laptops. Using tablets, users can move from room to room much more easily, and using a digital pen/stylus to write on the tablet can help staff input information into the EHR with ease. Similar to the previous two options, tablets have disadvantages as well. Staff will have to adapt to writing with a stylus, and even then, handwriting programs that convert to text can have faults. Additionally, touch screens are prone to scratches and are often fragile enough to break after one drop.
An Electronic Health Records system can provide enormous benefits to your organization: easier data entry, quicker data recall, and improved data accuracy. This system's backbone is a good hardware network, so consider your options carefully when setting up your EHR system.