Why Are Electronic Health Records Better Than Paper Records?

Healthcare technology has made significant advances over the past couple of decades. One of these innovations is the electronic health record (EHR). Most, if not all, organizations employ an electronic health record in some capacity. With an EHR, a physician can look up a patient’s health history, past diagnoses, test results, allergies, and more. Patients can also schedule appointments or send messages to their physician through a portal. 

But is EHR integration a significant improvement over traditional paper records? Most experts say yes. Learn more about EHRs and how they are revolutionizing the healthcare industry now. 

How EHR Integration is Changing Healthcare for the Better

EHR integration vs. paper records: Why EHRs are better than traditional paper files

Thoughtful Female Doctor Studying Medical Findings
Paper files are quickly becoming obsolete as EHRs continue to improve their security, connectivity, and reliability. 

1. Access to EHRs can be limited to authorized users 

Electronic health records offer much better security than traditional paper files. Paper files can easily get lost or misplaced, causing serious problems for the patient down the line. Unauthorized people may also get their hands on these paper files if left out in the open. Even the most careful employees can accidentally leave a file at the copy machine or misplace it during a busy day. 

EHRs, on the other hand, can be protected using robust encryption services. Encryption works by converting files and data into an unreadable format. These files cannot be converted back to their original format without a decryption key or password, meaning that seamless EHR integration helps keep your data safe.  

2. Paper files are vulnerable to tampering

In addition to being easy to lose, paper files are also incredibly susceptible to tampering. Someone could throw away certain papers from a report or produce altered copies of a particular file. 

It’s much harder to tamper with electronic health records as encryption services and robust password systems protect them.  Both you and your patients can rest assured that their health information is safe and secure from being stolen or tampered with by outside sources. 

3. You can build an audit trail with an EHR

An EHR audit trail is a secure record that tracks who accessed a file, when they looked at it, where they accessed it, and if they modified any data. Performing similar audits on paper files is almost impossible. Even if you successfully created an audit trail to use for paper files, they are still vulnerable to inaccuracies and alterations. 

4. You can back up data on an EHR

When it comes to storing sensitive patient information, you need to think about security and backup storage. In the case of a natural disaster or cyberattack, you can restore confidential data onto your EHR from an offsite backup. However, this would not be possible if your organization only uses a paper-based system. 

5. Paper files are easy to misinterpret

Physician handwriting is notoriously difficult to read. Paper records typically do not offer enough space to write down pertinent information, making it even more difficult for doctors to record everything legibly. EHRs eliminate this problem by allowing users to enter everything electronically. No longer do staff members have to waste time poring over illegible notes. 

6. EHRs help healthcare workers cut down time spent on administrative tasks

Healthcare workers can also save time on tedious administrative tasks by using an EHR. That said, you should make sure you are taking the time to train your staff on EHR best practices so they can make the most out of this innovative technology. Untrained staff can waste more time attempting to navigate the system than if they stuck to regular paper files. 

7. EHRs are better for the environment

One of the most apparent benefits of transitioning to EHRs is reducing your paper usage and waste significantly.  If you’re trying to become a more eco-friendly practice, then switching to EHRs is a no-brainer. 

EHR Integration Solutions

Iron Bridge offers a cutting-edge data integration solution for healthcare providers

nuvola hub logo
The Nuvola Hub lets your organization stay connected with all of its vendors, payers, and patients. 

Is your EHR integrated with other healthcare centers such as public health registries or labs? In just one installation, the Nuvola Hub by Iron Bridge connects your organization to other EHRs, labs, registries, payers, and providers. 

As a fully managed integration service, the Nuvola Hub doesn’t need an extra team or software products for installation. The Iron Bridge team handles the installation themselves. No interface engines are required either. Instead, the team will provide everything your organization needs for successful integration. 

Is your healthcare organization in need of an EHR integration service to help facilitate information flow across different companies? Our professional team of IT experts can connect you with thousands of organizations in your industry through the Nuvola Hub. Contact the team today for more information!

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