Why implement EHR? Disadvantages of Paper Based Patient Health Records.

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.

Also read – Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Health Records in India

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