EHR systems have come under intense scrutiny by the media many times over the last decade. Some groups applaud the very real benefits offered by EHRs – especially at a time when hospitals and medical clinics find themselves under pressure due to overcrowding and budget cuts. However, it has not always been a bed of roses and many experts have been quick to criticize EHRs on the basis of electronic data breaches, lackadaisical security as well as inadequate interoperability standards.
Patient privacy, data security and confidentiality have been some of the top concerns for both industry professionals and government health officials. Critics argue that it is far easier for organizations to lose patient data from EHR systems when compared to old-time paper records through unauthorized use, hacking attempts or simply by losing or misplacing mobile devices.
Nevertheless data recovery is one aspect where EHRs comprehensively trump paper files time and again. One of the biggest problems with paper is the issue of data backup and recovery in case of accidents. Not only is it time-consuming to create multiple copies of a single patient record for safekeeping but it is also labor-intensive to recover the data if something should happen to the original files. Hospitals and clinics generally have to keep several decades worth of patient records in a safe place which takes up a lot of space and resources.
Compare this to EHR systems where data can be simultaneously backed up in multiple locations, both off-site and on-site. With the new generation of cloud EHR systems, patient data is automatically and continuously backed up to HIPAA compliant servers far away from the clinic itself. In this way, even if the office building itself suffers an emergency such as a fire or a flood, patient records are not harmed in any way. Additionally, recovering the data is a relatively straightforward and pain-free process that shouldn’t take more than a few hours or days at most.
While it is certainly feasible to strengthen EHR security to protect against criminal activity, natural disasters can seldom be guarded against. In this respect, electronic systems enjoy a significant advantage over manual record keeping. Even if EHR systems are not the perfect solution for the healthcare industry, it is better to focus on improving the current systems rather than hanging on to antiquated processes.
Dovetail dental software is a complete electronic dental record and practice management solution, ambulatory system that automatically backs up your clinical data to the secure cloud. Your practice can be up and running in a few hours with access to the latest patient information, even if a disaster should befall the physical office or equipment.