The different types of virtualization

One of the biggest money-saving IT trends of the past two decades is the cloud, but due to popular demand, virtualization technology has also become an important business improvement trend in recent years. Here are a few ways virtualization is used to improve efficiency and productivity in the office.

What is virtualization?

By virtualizing any of the items below, you can trick software into recognizing hardware when none actually exists. The easiest way to explain this is with examples from the most common type of this technology: hardware virtualization.

If you have one high-powered computer processor, virtualization allows you to split it up and run four separate operating systems (Windows, Apple OS, etc.), each seemingly running on a standalone, low-powered processor. In this case, virtualization is like creating different partitions within one processor, each with an independent environment for different uses.

Conversely, virtualization can also be used to connect four high-powered processors to create what your operating system will recognize as one ultra-fast piece of hardware.
This technology can be applied in a number of ways for more efficient resource utilization and cost savings.

#1 Desktop virtualization

Sometimes referred to as cloud desktops, this form of virtualization grants you access to a fully functioning computer via a local network or the internet. Somewhere, a server has allocated a portion of its hardware resources for your virtual desktop. With a keyboard, monitor, mouse, and extremely low-end computer, you can connect to this virtual desktop and utilize all the processing power and storage the server has set aside for it.

#2 Application virtualization

By installing a program on a server hard drive, your employee workstations can use their computing resources to run the program, but restrict data from being stored on their hard drives. The program and the documents it creates will never leave the server hard drive, making it much harder for hackers to compromise them.

With more advanced virtualization solutions, your server can also allocate the computing resources necessary to run the program, meaning your workstations are merely a window to your server.

#3 Storage virtualization

Similar to hardware virtualization, this strategy makes it easy to organize how your data is stored. In addition to combining hard drives across several computers into a massive virtual drive, storage virtualization also stores data based on how important it is. Frequently used documents are saved to your fastest drives and can be automatically backed up to the cloud.

#4 Network virtualization

If your office has more than 10 workstations, it makes sense to consider network virtualization, which allows you to separate vulnerable devices. For example, if you had one server that handles a lot of web traffic and another that stored sensitive documents, you might want to connect them to different networks to avoid cross-contamination in case of a virus attack. Network virtualization would allow you to do that without buying any new hardware!

Even with our simplified explanations, virtualization is still a complicated subject. Rather than try to figure it out in a few hundred words, give us a call and we’ll show you in person!

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Include VoIP phones in your recovery plan

Businesses that focus heavily on sales and customer service need a reliable, efficient, and effective telecommunications system. If their services break down even for just a day, the losses will be significant, which is why a well-crafted disaster recovery plan should include protecting the company’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony system.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services

Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, install a third-party VoIP monitoring service to keep tabs on the status of your phone system. This will identify all network issues disrupting your phone system, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely

When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they host your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters. Your provider should also use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line

Because VoIP solutions are dependent on internet connections, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to the other should one network fail. Thus, if your main phone network goes down, your VoIP solution switches to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices

With a cloud-based VoIP solution, you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. If your main office is hit by a local disaster or network outage, your employees can continue working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure such devices to receive rerouted calls.

And don’t forget to set policies for remote working. You should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan

There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.

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How to minimize VoIP downtime

Disasters can happen at any time, and if your company is unprepared, it can put you out of business. One of the most essential technologies today is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony systems. Should a disaster knock your VoIP offline, you will lose people, productivity, and ultimately, profit. Avoid such a fate by following these disaster recovery procedures for your VoIP.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services

Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, install a third-party VoIP monitoring service to keep tabs on the status of your phone system. This will identify all network issues disrupting your phone system, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely

When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they host your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters. Your provider should also use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line

Because VoIP solutions are dependent on internet connections, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to the other should one network fail. Thus, if your main phone network goes down, your VoIP solution switches to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices

With a cloud-based VoIP solution, you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. If your main office is hit by a local disaster or network outage, your employees can continue working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure such devices to receive rerouted calls.

And don’t forget to set policies for remote working. You should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan

There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.

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Make sure your VoIP phones survive a disaster

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony systems are great for today’s businesses. They’re more mobile with greater functionality and better cost efficiency versus traditional landline phones. But as with any technology, VoIP is vulnerable to disruptions due to equipment failure, disasters, and cyberattacks. Plan ahead and make sure your VoIP can weather any breakdown.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services

Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, install a third-party VoIP monitoring service to keep tabs on the status of your phone system. This will identify all network issues disrupting your phone system, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely

When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they host your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters. Your provider should also use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line

Because VoIP solutions are dependent on internet connections, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to the other should one network fail. Thus, if your main phone network goes down, your VoIP solution switches to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices

With a cloud-based VoIP solution, you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. If your main office is hit by a local disaster or network outage, your employees can continue working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure such devices to receive rerouted calls.

And don’t forget to set policies for remote working. You should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan

There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.

Posted in General Articles B, VoIP | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

OneNote 101: Master OneNote in no time

OneNote is a useful but underutilized app that comes with Microsoft Office. It enables you to create and share digital notebooks that contain text, audio, video, and other multimedia, taking your note-taking to another level. Discover the ins and outs of this wonderful app by reading on.

Organize your digital notebook

While both Microsoft Word and OneNote let you create text-heavy documents, they store and display saved information differently. Word displays one document at a time, but OneNote shows you all your documents at once.

When you open OneNote for the first time, it shows you a default Notebook called “My Notebook.” If you want to create another notebook, click on the < beside the name of your current Notebook, then choose +Notebook at the bottom of your screen.

To use the default notebook, you can immediately customize it. The easiest way to do this is to separate the Notebook into sub-categories called Sections, similar to what dividers do in a physical notebook. For example, you can organize your client notes by dedicating a specific Section for them. Sections are shown as color-coded tabs along the top of the screen, next to the name of your Notebook. Add one by clicking on +Section at the bottom left of your screen.

After you’ve created Sections, it’s time to add individual pages to them. For example, under the Section Client A, you can add pages pertaining to Client Contact, Project Status, and Billing Information. To begin adding pages under a Section, simply click +Page.
Rename your Notebook, Section, or Page by right-clicking the bar with its name and choosing the rename option.

Start experimenting

There’s no hard-and-fast rule to enjoy OneNote, because each person’s note-taking habits are unique. The only way to find out if OneNote works for you is to try out all the features, and decide which works for you. Here are some things you can try to get a feel of the OneNote experience. However, keep in mind that these only work in OneNote for Windows 10. If you’re using an older version, you need to upgrade to the latest version to enjoy these benefits:

  • Add tags to your notes so you can search for them efficiently
  • Instantly turn your drawings into shapes or text using the Ink to Shape and Ink to Text functions, respectively
  • Solve equations by using the Ink Math Assistant, an in-app function that will help you graph or solve math problems
  • Use “Immersive Reader” to read texts out loud
  • Write on a web page in Microsoft Edge and save your annotations to OneNote

Share your OneNote

So you’ve created a detailed plan for an upcoming event complete with visual pegs and handwritten instructions, and you want to share that with your team. That’s easy as pie with OneNote. Just go to the upper right corner of your ribbon, click on the Share button, and type in the email addresses of the people to whom you wish to send your notes. You can also set the sharing permissions to either “can view” or “can edit,” giving you more control of your data.

OneNote has innumerable tricks up its sleeve, and it can take months for you to master all of them. Call us today, and we’ll make sure you’ll get the hang of OneNote in no time.

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Take notes the modern way with OneNote

Note-taking is an essential skill for students and professionals. Whether it’s a board meeting, a conference, or a lecture, you will inevitably need to list, quote, and summarize certain points. Fortunately, you no longer have to rely on longhand to record your notes. With Microsoft OneNote, not only can you can type important notes, but you also have more options for customizing and sharing your notes. Here’s how to master the app.

Organize your digital notebook

While both Microsoft Word and OneNote let you create text-heavy documents, they store and display saved information differently. Word displays one document at a time, but OneNote shows you all your documents at once.

When you open OneNote for the first time, it shows you a default Notebook called “My Notebook.” If you want to create another notebook, click on the < beside the name of your current Notebook, then choose +Notebook at the bottom of your screen.

To use the default notebook, you can immediately customize it. The easiest way to do this is to separate the Notebook into sub-categories called Sections, similar to what dividers do in a physical notebook. For example, you can organize your client notes by dedicating a specific Section for them. Sections are shown as color-coded tabs along the top of the screen, next to the name of your Notebook. Add one by clicking on +Section at the bottom left of your screen.

After you’ve created Sections, it’s time to add individual pages to them. For example, under the Section Client A, you can add pages pertaining to Client Contact, Project Status, and Billing Information. To begin adding pages under a Section, simply click +Page.
Rename your Notebook, Section, or Page by right-clicking the bar with its name and choosing the rename option.

Start experimenting

There’s no hard-and-fast rule to enjoy OneNote, because each person’s note-taking habits are unique. The only way to find out if OneNote works for you is to try out all the features, and decide which works for you. Here are some things you can try to get a feel of the OneNote experience. However, keep in mind that these only work in OneNote for Windows 10. If you’re using an older version, you need to upgrade to the latest version to enjoy these benefits:

  • Add tags to your notes so you can search for them efficiently
  • Instantly turn your drawings into shapes or text using the Ink to Shape and Ink to Text functions, respectively
  • Solve equations by using the Ink Math Assistant, an in-app function that will help you graph or solve math problems
  • Use “Immersive Reader” to read texts out loud
  • Write on a web page in Microsoft Edge and save your annotations to OneNote

Share your OneNote

So you’ve created a detailed plan for an upcoming event complete with visual pegs and handwritten instructions, and you want to share that with your team. That’s easy as pie with OneNote. Just go to the upper right corner of your ribbon, click on the Share button, and type in the email addresses of the people to whom you wish to send your notes. You can also set the sharing permissions to either “can view” or “can edit,” giving you more control of your data.

OneNote has innumerable tricks up its sleeve, and it can take months for you to master all of them. Call us today, and we’ll make sure you’ll get the hang of OneNote in no time.

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OneNote: Microsoft’s most underrated app

The hidden gem of Microsoft Office, OneNote is the lesser known sibling of PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. It’s a powerful note-taking app that allows you to integrate text, video, audio, and other multimedia resources to organize or visualize ideas. Find out what you’re missing out on.

Organize your digital notebook

While both Microsoft Word and OneNote let you create text-heavy documents, they store and display saved information differently. Word displays one document at a time, but OneNote shows you all your documents at once.

When you open OneNote for the first time, it shows you a default Notebook called “My Notebook.” If you want to create another notebook, click on the < beside the name of your current Notebook, then choose +Notebook at the bottom of your screen.

To use the default notebook, you can immediately customize it. The easiest way to do this is to separate the Notebook into sub-categories called Sections, similar to what dividers do in a physical notebook. For example, you can organize your client notes by dedicating a specific Section for them. Sections are shown as color-coded tabs along the top of the screen, next to the name of your Notebook. Add one by clicking on +Section at the bottom left of your screen.

After you’ve created Sections, it’s time to add individual pages to them. For example, under the Section Client A, you can add pages pertaining to Client Contact, Project Status, and Billing Information. To begin adding pages under a Section, simply click +Page.
Rename your Notebook, Section, or Page by right-clicking the bar with its name and choosing the rename option.

Start experimenting

There’s no hard-and-fast rule to enjoy OneNote, because each person’s note-taking habits are unique. The only way to find out if OneNote works for you is to try out all the features, and decide which works for you. Here are some things you can try to get a feel of the OneNote experience. However, keep in mind that these only work in OneNote for Windows 10. If you’re using an older version, you need to upgrade to the latest version to enjoy these benefits:

  • Add tags to your notes so you can search for them efficiently
  • Instantly turn your drawings into shapes or text using the Ink to Shape and Ink to Text functions, respectively
  • Solve equations by using the Ink Math Assistant, an in-app function that will help you graph or solve math problems
  • Use “Immersive Reader” to read texts out loud
  • Write on a web page in Microsoft Edge and save your annotations to OneNote

Share your OneNote

So you’ve created a detailed plan for an upcoming event complete with visual pegs and handwritten instructions, and you want to share that with your team. That’s easy as pie with OneNote. Just go to the upper right corner of your ribbon, click on the Share button, and type in the email addresses of the people to whom you wish to send your notes. You can also set the sharing permissions to either “can view” or “can edit,” giving you more control of your data.

OneNote has innumerable tricks up its sleeve, and it can take months for you to master all of them. Call us today, and we’ll make sure you’ll get the hang of OneNote in no time.

Posted in General Articles B, Office | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Are EHRs useful?

The healthcare industry is embracing the use of electronic health records (EHRs). It advances a new type of data management system that aims to improve on traditional paper-based ways. But will it?

What is an electronic health record?

An electronic health record (EHR) is an individual’s official health document accessible via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and shareable between multiple facilities and agencies.
Typically, an EHR includes contact information, allergies, family history, list of medications, information regarding previous surgeries and procedures, and other relevant patient information.

How EHRs improve patient care

EHRs improve patient care in significant ways. For one, they can aid in diagnosing patient illnesses based on past history and the patients’ complete health information. EHRs can also help reduce medical errors and false positives. Records can also be updated to provide last known information to the provider at the point of care.

Lastly, EHRs can also improve overall public health by providing a bird’s-eye view of the overall health of an entire patient population. This lets providers identify risk factors that most impact the patients and proactively prepare for potential outbreaks or illnesses.

The big debate: EHR vs paper records

The long-standing debate of digital versus traditional data storage has expanded to every industry, and healthcare isn’t spared from it either. While most agree that EHRs offer more benefits in comparison with paper records, EHRs themselves are not without drawbacks. Below are some of the major differences between paper and electronic records.

  1. Time. EHRs can save emergency care providers time during a patient’s visit. And in case of emergency, these records can provide critical, life-saving information. However, experts in the field find that the learning curve in using EHRs is too steep and reduces healthcare providers into becoming data entry staff. And all the typing, clicking, and pointing have caused physicians to become distracted from their patients.
  2. Environment. One of the most obvious benefits of going digital is the reduction of adverse environmental impacts. A typical patient’s medical record usually encompasses close to hundreds of pages and might even run into the thousands in the most extreme cases. On the other hand, turning to digital solutions saves paper, trees and other resources used to make paper products.
  3. Security. Paper records can be compromised in two ways: by being misplaced or getting stolen (in the unlikely event of a break-in). EHRs, on the other hand, are at risk due to the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks. Recent years, in particular, have been rough for the healthcare industry, as evidenced by the occurrence of numerous cybersecurity and data breaches involving thousands of medical records.
  4. Cost. Large healthcare providers often have to pay large sums of money to purchase, install, and gain full access to EHR systems. Maintaining paper records, by contrast, requires only human administrative costs and storage costs.
  5. Access. One of the biggest gripes against paper records is that they are incredibly tedious to access and share. Obtaining a paper record involves first having to find it — possibly within a mound of files — and then either mailing, faxing, or scanning the copies. Sharing EHRs, on the other hand, is much easier; patients and medical personnel can access information via an app or by sending a photo via a secured network.
  6. Illegibility. A physician’s penmanship is often tough to read and decipher, and very easy to misinterpret. Paper records are also notorious for not providing enough space for a physician to jot everything down legibly. With EHRs, notes can be typewritten without regard for space, reducing concerns regarding illegibility.

EHRs in the future

Experts on the subject seem to believe that EHRs need to evolve a little more before being fully accepted and integrated by all healthcare institutions. Some changes include:

  • Reducing the data entry burden
  • Including remote monitoring
  • Increasing transparency
  • Increasing room for patient engagement

Despite these, we can still expect EHRs in the future to eventually have more in-depth content and provide a more layered representation of a person’s history. Over time, this will lead to better diagnosis of patients and more accurate prescription of medicine.

Would you like advice on the best EHR systems in the market or on how to implement these EHR systems? Look no further and let our experts guide you. Call today.

 

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The pros and cons of EHRs

The healthcare industry has been increasing its adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). The technology claims to improve on current paper-based methods. However, EHRs are not flawless. Learn more about the pros and cons of EHRs and decide for yourself.

What is an electronic health record?

An electronic health record (EHR) is an individual’s official health document accessible via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and shareable between multiple facilities and agencies.
Typically, an EHR includes contact information, allergies, family history, list of medications, information regarding previous surgeries and procedures, and other relevant patient information.

How EHRs improve patient care

EHRs improve patient care in significant ways. For one, they can aid in diagnosing patient illnesses based on past history and the patients’ complete health information. EHRs can also help reduce medical errors and false positives. Records can also be updated to provide last known information to the provider at the point of care.

Lastly, EHRs can also improve overall public health by providing a bird’s-eye view of the overall health of an entire patient population. This lets providers identify risk factors that most impact the patients and proactively prepare for potential outbreaks or illnesses.

The big debate: EHR vs paper records

The long-standing debate of digital versus traditional data storage has expanded to every industry, and healthcare isn’t spared from it either. While most agree that EHRs offer more benefits in comparison with paper records, EHRs themselves are not without drawbacks. Below are some of the major differences between paper and electronic records.

  1. Time. EHRs can save emergency care providers time during a patient’s visit. And in case of emergency, these records can provide critical, life-saving information. However, experts in the field find that the learning curve in using EHRs is too steep and reduces healthcare providers into becoming data entry staff. And all the typing, clicking, and pointing have caused physicians to become distracted from their patients.
  2. Environment. One of the most obvious benefits of going digital is the reduction of adverse environmental impacts. A typical patient’s medical record usually encompasses close to hundreds of pages and might even run into the thousands in the most extreme cases. On the other hand, turning to digital solutions saves paper, trees and other resources used to make paper products.
  3. Security. Paper records can be compromised in two ways: by being misplaced or getting stolen (in the unlikely event of a break-in). EHRs, on the other hand, are at risk due to the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks. Recent years, in particular, have been rough for the healthcare industry, as evidenced by the occurrence of numerous cybersecurity and data breaches involving thousands of medical records.
  4. Cost. Large healthcare providers often have to pay large sums of money to purchase, install, and gain full access to EHR systems. Maintaining paper records, by contrast, requires only human administrative costs and storage costs.
  5. Access. One of the biggest gripes against paper records is that they are incredibly tedious to access and share. Obtaining a paper record involves first having to find it — possibly within a mound of files — and then either mailing, faxing, or scanning the copies. Sharing EHRs, on the other hand, is much easier; patients and medical personnel can access information via an app or by sending a photo via a secured network.
  6. Illegibility. A physician’s penmanship is often tough to read and decipher, and very easy to misinterpret. Paper records are also notorious for not providing enough space for a physician to jot everything down legibly. With EHRs, notes can be typewritten without regard for space, reducing concerns regarding illegibility.

EHRs in the future

Experts on the subject seem to believe that EHRs need to evolve a little more before being fully accepted and integrated by all healthcare institutions. Some changes include:

  • Reducing the data entry burden
  • Including remote monitoring
  • Increasing transparency
  • Increasing room for patient engagement

Despite these, we can still expect EHRs in the future to eventually have more in-depth content and provide a more layered representation of a person’s history. Over time, this will lead to better diagnosis of patients and more accurate prescription of medicine.

Would you like advice on the best EHR systems in the market or on how to implement these EHR systems? Look no further and let our experts guide you. Call today.

Posted in General Articles C, Healthcare | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

EHRs vs paper records: Which is better?

Is digital the way to go for the healthcare industry? Experts see no other way forward, as demonstrated by the popularity of electronic health records (EHRs). However, critics of this new recording process have pointed out major flaws that aren’t present in its traditional counterpart: paper-based recording. Read on to learn more.

What is an electronic health record?

An electronic health record (EHR) is an individual’s official health document accessible via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and shareable between multiple facilities and agencies.
Typically, an EHR includes contact information, allergies, family history, list of medications, information regarding previous surgeries and procedures, and other relevant patient information.

How EHRs improve patient care

EHRs improve patient care in significant ways. For one, they can aid in diagnosing patient illnesses based on past history and the patients’ complete health information. EHRs can also help reduce medical errors and false positives. Records can also be updated to provide last known information to the provider at the point of care.

Lastly, EHRs can also improve overall public health by providing a bird’s-eye view of the overall health of an entire patient population. This lets providers identify risk factors that most impact the patients and proactively prepare for potential outbreaks or illnesses.

The big debate: EHR vs paper records

The long-standing debate of digital versus traditional data storage has expanded to every industry, and healthcare isn’t spared from it either. While most agree that EHRs offer more benefits in comparison with paper records, EHRs themselves are not without drawbacks. Below are some of the major differences between paper and electronic records.

  1. Time. EHRs can save emergency care providers time during a patient’s visit. And in case of emergency, these records can provide critical, life-saving information. However, experts in the field find that the learning curve in using EHRs is too steep and reduces healthcare providers into becoming data entry staff. And all the typing, clicking, and pointing have caused physicians to become distracted from their patients.
  2. Environment. One of the most obvious benefits of going digital is the reduction of adverse environmental impacts. A typical patient’s medical record usually encompasses close to hundreds of pages and might even run into the thousands in the most extreme cases. On the other hand, turning to digital solutions saves paper, trees and other resources used to make paper products.
  3. Security. Paper records can be compromised in two ways: by being misplaced or getting stolen (in the unlikely event of a break-in). EHRs, on the other hand, are at risk due to the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks. Recent years, in particular, have been rough for the healthcare industry, as evidenced by the occurrence of numerous cybersecurity and data breaches involving thousands of medical records.
  4. Cost. Large healthcare providers often have to pay large sums of money to purchase, install, and gain full access to EHR systems. Maintaining paper records, by contrast, requires only human administrative costs and storage costs.
  5. Access. One of the biggest gripes against paper records is that they are incredibly tedious to access and share. Obtaining a paper record involves first having to find it — possibly within a mound of files — and then either mailing, faxing, or scanning the copies. Sharing EHRs, on the other hand, is much easier; patients and medical personnel can access information via an app or by sending a photo via a secured network.
  6. Illegibility. A physician’s penmanship is often tough to read and decipher, and very easy to misinterpret. Paper records are also notorious for not providing enough space for a physician to jot everything down legibly. With EHRs, notes can be typewritten without regard for space, reducing concerns regarding illegibility.

EHRs in the future

Experts on the subject seem to believe that EHRs need to evolve a little more before being fully accepted and integrated by all healthcare institutions. Some changes include:

  • Reducing the data entry burden
  • Including remote monitoring
  • Increasing transparency
  • Increasing room for patient engagement

Despite these, we can still expect EHRs in the future to eventually have more in-depth content and provide a more layered representation of a person’s history. Over time, this will lead to better diagnosis of patients and more accurate prescription of medicine.

Would you like advice on the best EHR systems in the market or on how to implement these EHR systems? Look no further and let our experts guide you. Call today.

 

Posted in General Articles A, Healthcare | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed
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