Huge strides in patient care and medical treatments became possible after more hospitals began adopting electronic medical records.
The benefits of comprehensive electronic health records are particularly helpful in surgery, where every piece of data—laboratory test results, vital sign records, and previous medical treatments—help surgeons improve patient care.
Electronic health records don’t necessarily need to be restricted to the doctor’s working with a patient, the patient themselves, and the hospital administration. They can also be shared with researchers, helping them with their data collection.
Here’s a hypothetical example of how electronic health records can also assist researchers investigating a rotator cuff surgery recovery hypothesis:
When researchers find that rats heal better after they are immobilized because this helps heal the inflammatory response and connective tissue organization, they are in a position to suggest that surgeons keep patients who have just had a rotator cuff injury operation in slings for six weeks before starting with passive motion therapy. Based on the data recorded in the electronic health records of how effectively patients recover, investigators are somewhat able to verify their hypothesis. Since one of the challenges in clinical research is setting up human trials, investigators can indirectly see if the work they do with rats relates to human beings.
This is just a quick example of what’s now possible when it comes to technological innovations through enhanced information technology.
Today, technology is radically transforming the medical field. The internet has made medical information more accessible. Healthcare facilities can now reach patients through social media. And because of improved worker efficiency, patients experience better treatment and suffer less from their injury or illness. Many revolutionary changes are directly due to the advances in Information technology. Doctors and nurses are better at their jobs because they use hand-held computers to review patient’s medical history, administer the correct treatment, and update medical records. As a result, patient care is now safer and far more reliable.