Changing Paradigms in Indian Hospitals – Paper records Vs. EHR: cost benefit analysis.
The current systems in use in many small and big hospital and healthcare provider settings in India are paper-pen based health records. This means significant costs for following reasons –
- Paper and stationary
- Manual filing and folder systems
- Secure vaults / record keeping rooms that increase real estate costs
- Overheads for managing the above including salaries of staff in records department
- Costs of scanning and printing
- Poor security – Permanent loss of records through theft, fire and similar as there are no virtual back-ups.
- Illegible records and prescriptions that may increase clinical errors and in turn financial liabilities to the given professional / organisation.
- Records without automated decision making aids and algorithms or alerts
- Manual data mining when doing clinical audits, quality improvement as well as Research & Development
- Poor accountability trails for who does what, paper records can be substituted or destroyed and replaced with ease.
- Working outside progressive norms and legislation by regulatory authorities which increasingly expect use of EHR in India
- Lack of portability
- Poor access for the patients to their own data.
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