TALKING TO YOUR PATIENTS ABOUTELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
Like you, health care providers across the nation are using electronic health records (EHRs) to increasethe quality, saety, and efciency o health care.Research suggests, however, that patients have a limited understanding o EHRs. As a provider, it isimportant or you to engage your patients in a conversation about health inormation technology, and aboutEHRs in particular, to answer their questions.Below are some questions you might receive rom your patients as well as suggestions on how you mightanswer them.
What Is an Electronic Health Record?
An electronic health record is not just a computerizedversion o your paper chart. It’s a digital record o yourhealth inormation that can provide your care team withcomprehensive health inormation about you. Overtime, it canallow your providers to share important inormation, acrossdierent health care settings, in accordance with ederal andstate privacy and security requirements.This is one o the key eatures o an EHR: It is designed toallow appropriate inormation sharing beyond the health careprovider who frst collects the inormation.It is built to share inormation with other providers, such aslabs and specialists. It can contain inormation rom all theproviders involved in your care in a practice setting, or it canlink through secure inormation networks to inormation heldin other providers’ EHR systems. And, as health inormationexchange capabilities advance urther, the inormation canmove with you—to the specialist, the hospital, the nursinghome, the next state, or even across the country.
What Information Does anElectronic Health Record Contain?
An EHR includes inormation aboutyour health, such as:Medical historyDiagnosesMedicationsImmunization datesAllergiesRadiology imagesLab and test results
How Can an Electronic Health Record Help Me?
Storing health inormation in an EHR has potential benefts or you as well as or your health careproviders. Benefts to you include:
With an EHR, all o your health inormation can be in one place. A networked EHRsystem can give providers more accurate and complete inormation about your health, so you receivethe best possible care.
Better care coordination.
Having inormation in electronic orm means that it can be shared easilywith the people who ensure that you are receiving the care you need. Because providers have theability to share inormation with other providers involved in your care, the care you and your amilyreceive is better coordinated.