What are EHRs?
An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital record of patient data such as patient history, medical records, lab results, medication, test images, etc. Healthcare organizations are widely adopting EHRs due to their many benefits.
EHRs help improve clinical workflows, increase operational efficiency, and improve patient outcomes. They increase coordination of care, accessibility of healthcare services, and clinical decision-making. Not just that, but EHRs have revolutionized the way care is delivered, which is one of the few factors driving the CAGR of the market during the forecast period.
EHR Trends in 2023
As technology keeps advancing, the functionality of EHRs keeps improving. From paper records to cloud-based electronic records, we have witnessed a transformation of record-keeping in healthcare. In 2023, the major trends that are creating the future of EHR are:
Cloud computing in healthcare is used to store, manage, and process patient data on serverless platforms, i.e., the cloud. Cloud computing has revolutionized the way care is delivered in healthcare. It offers multiple benefits, including cost savings, scalability, agility, and security. Traditional on-premises EHRs often struggle when organizations are scaling, and the volume of patient data is increasing. Cloud-based EHRs can easily scale up or down as needed, keeping up with increasing demands without demanding any investments. With a cloud-based system, providers don’t even have to spend on expensive servers, data centers, and IT personnel.
Artificial intelligence is taking the world by storm. It is ushering healthcare into a new era of personalized care and accurate decision-making. It is transforming the way healthcare data is processed, analyzed, and leveraged to enhance patient care. AI algorithms help physicians diagnose and identify trends in patient health, predict potential health issues, and intervene early. This leads to better outcomes, reduced hospital readmissions, and lower healthcare costs.
Several EHR providers are even working on adding speech-to-text and voice recognition to their software. Moreover, natural language processing (NLP) technology enables EHR systems to extract valuable insights from unstructured clinical notes and text, making it easier for healthcare providers to search for relevant information.
AI in healthcare helps healthcare providers organize, study, and analyze unstructured patient data using automation. It also increases efficiency by helping administrative staff quickly and accurately preauthorize insurance without running into any problems or inconsistencies. Artificial intelligence aids medical professionals in creating personalized treatment plans and handling urgent patient cases with rare or difficult medical conditions.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to the use of bots to automate repetitive tasks and processes. In healthcare, RPA is used to automate financial, clinical, and back-office operations. RPA technology mimics human actions to interact with and manipulate data within software applications, helping providers streamline operations, reduce human errors, and improve efficiency.
In EHRs, RPA helps fix any gaps in their functionality without the need for a redesign. It automates various administrative and data-related tasks, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care. RPA can extract relevant information from various sources, such as patient intake forms or lab reports, and fill in the appropriate fields in the EHR. It can even schedule appointments by checking the availability of different providers, as well as streamlining claims processing.
The global RPA market size is expected to reach $11 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 34% from 2020 to 2027.
EHRs are the banks of healthcare data. Without the right tools, raw data is of no use. Data analytics can be used in EHRs to extract valuable insights, improve patient care, and enhance healthcare operations. Healthcare data allows vendors to help providers with clinical decision support (CDS). EHRs can use data analytics to provide evidence-based treatment recommendations, generate notifications when certain risk factors or conditions are identified, etc.
The size of the global market for data analytics was estimated to be USD 30 billion in 2022, and it is projected to increase to approximately USD 393.35 billion by 2032.
Interoperability in electronic health records helps facilitate the seamless exchange of data among various systems. It promotes patient-centered care by empowering healthcare providers to access comprehensive patient data, promoting continuity of care, and enhancing clinical decision support. EHR interoperability improves processes as well as data sharing between EHR systems and healthcare stakeholders. An interoperable environment enhances the provision of healthcare by making healthcare data accessible to authorized individuals.
Telehealth is the provision of healthcare services through technology and communication devices. Integrating telehealth into electronic health records allows healthcare providers to provide healthcare services remotely. With an EHR integrated with telehealth, providers can experience improved workflows, increased healthcare accessibility, and improved patient outcomes.
It can streamline insurance information, boost provider collaboration, automate data entry, streamline virtual care operations, and improve patient-physician interaction. When data is changed in the telehealth system, patient records are automatically updated, providing physicians with real-time access to patient data. The global telehealth market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.6%, reaching $285.7 billion by 2027.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger that stores information in blocks. In healthcare, blockchain helps provide additional security for healthcare data. EHR data is protected via encryption on a blockchain, which limits access to authorized personnel. Blockchain can keep track of transactions, the distribution of medications, authenticate prescriptions, and more. Although the use of blockchain is still in its early stages, many EHRs have already adopted it to guarantee security and scalability.
By 2028, the market for blockchain technology in the healthcare industry is projected to be worth $5.8 billion, growing at a CAGR of 39.9%.
With the surge in the adoption of technology worldwide, we see the common use of wearables such as fitness watches, trackers, etc.
Wearables transmit data from the device directly to the patient’s smartphone. It tracks data such as steps taken, activity levels, heart rate, and other data. One of the biggest benefits of wearables is that providers can track data spanning several months, including daily activities, medical conditions, medication schedules, and more. These devices allow healthcare providers to remotely monitor the health of their high-risk patients 24 hours a day. By 2028, the market for wearable medical technology is anticipated to reach $95.4 billion, expanding at a CAGR of 23.7%.
EHRs are a necessity in today’s digital world. As providers have widely started adopting cloud-based EHRs, the newest technological breakthroughs continue to advance their functionalities. In the future, we expect to see EHRs that are patient-centered and improve patient outcomes.