Benefits of Digital Health Records for Healthcare Providers

Nobody challenges the need for digitization of health records – neither doctors nor patients. Yet, the adoption of digital health records is low, leading to an information gap between the various stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. The key reason for this information gap is simply inertia. The effort involved in adjusting to new ways of working is touted as the biggest reason for continued use of paper as the dominant medium for documentation in healthcare.

Doctors in India face a glut and a lack of patient’s health data, both at the same time. How? It is a common observation that when patients visit doctors for treatment, they either do not carry their health records or carry bagful of files and loose papers, and when the documents are requested, they present them to doctors in a delayed, haphazard, or incomplete way, all of which prolong the health assessment and quality of the diagnosis.

Furthermore, this situation leads to re-tests, resulting in increased cost of care and further stress on our overloaded healthcare infrastructure and professionals.
In a conversation with Dr. Lokendra Goyal, a leading pediatrician from Kurukshetra, he added, “This behavior from patients is ironic since they rely on doctors for treatment and guidance but do not provide doctors with sufficient information for decision making. The primary reason for this behavior is lack of awareness about the importance of medical history in treatment and therefore lack of proper management of health records.

Therefore, my suggestion to the patients is to maintain their health records digitally.”
Adoption of digital health records can solve these problems and in fact can go a long way in solving some of the most complex operational and healthcare delivery related problems that healthcare providers face in India. Digital health records can provide significant benefits to healthcare professionals, including improved patient care and safety, better coordination of care, and increased efficiency.

Digital health records are electronic versions of a patient’s medical history. They can include everything from the patient’s demographics and contact information to their medical history, prescriptions, lab results, imaging studies, etc. Thus, due to their very nature, digital health records provide a comprehensive view of a patient’s healthcare. The digital health records allow medical professionals to quickly access all relevant information about a patient, including medical history and current treatments.

Imagine an aunt diagnosed with Diabetes and Hypertension being admitted to the hospital for any treatment, even a fracture. It is important for the doctors to know what medication she is on along with exact dosages. This information gives doctors a clearer picture of the patient’s health situation, ensuring the medication being given does not adversely interfere with her existing conditions. Now imagine, if the prescription is not available and she is not in a state to recall what those medicine names were. With digital health records, the doctors can access all relevant information about their patient in one place and with a click of a button, so that they can look at each piece of information and determine what is important and what is not, allowing them to make quick decisions about the best course of treatment for their patient and choosing medications that will work best for patients without having to go through several different drug regimens before finding one that works well with a patient’s

body chemistry or genetic makeup.
In addition, digital health records help doctors monitor progress over time. With a digital health record system in place, doctors will not have to make multiple requests to a patient for information or for visits to their offices when they can take care of everything at once with just one visit. This helps reduce stress on both doctors and their patients while saving time overall and costs.

Better treatment can also be provided due to better communication between healthcare professionals, who are able to share important information easily through these records. Plus, all this health data helps doctors in research papers and journal publications. All these benefits ensure better outcomes while also reducing unnecessary expenses related directly back into healthcare costs!

So, is there something you can do about it?

Yes. With increasing penetration of mobile phones in our day-to-day lives and availability of health services and products online, the patient is also now increasingly viewed as a consumer. So then, all you have to do is make a change in your habits and then demand the same from your service provider! Talk to your doctors about going digital. Use a health locker such as DRiefcase and show that to your doctors. When digital health records become the market-standard, its participants will have no option but to adopt it. And rest assured, you are also doing your doctor a huge favor by getting him to go digital.

Dr. Lokendra Goyal is a leading pediatrician from Kurukshetra and runs a multi-specialty hospital, Radhakrishna Hospital, which is a NABH accredited hospital. During COVID times Dr. Goyal provided human service to the people of Kurukshetra and around and more than doubled the hospital’s capacity to service all those in need.
Sohit Kapoor is the co-founder of DRiefcase, which is India’s first ABDM integrated Personal Health Record (or the PHR) platform and health locker that provides secure, easy-to-use access to personal health records, enabling users to maintain their and their family health records online and access them anytime in a matter of seconds.

The authored article is written by  Mr. Sohit Kapoor the co-founder of Driefcase  and shared with Prittle Prattle News  exclusively.
Must Read –  Vinod 
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