Using electronic health records can help medical professionals greatly improve the quality of healthcare while also reducing its cost, which is why hospitals and doctors are increasingly opting to use digital records over paper ones. According to a recent Huffington Post article, hospitals across the United States have vastly improved their information management strategies with electronic medical records, thanks in part to an increase in federal funding which supports the digitization efforts.
Citing a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Huffington Post reported that the number of hospitals with an electronic medical records system has tripled since 2010. Forty-four percent utilized digital records in 2012, up from 27 percent in 2011. The study also found that healthcare professionals are more likely than ever to share patient information electronically with other healthcare providers. Twenty-seven percent of hospitals now have a collaborative, data-sharing system in place.
"Standardized record-keeping is expected to improve medical decision-making and reduce errors while avoiding duplication of tests and treatments," the Huffington Post stated.
The L.A. Times reported that doctors' offices have significantly increased their use of electronic medical records as well, with the number of physicians who utilize computerized records jumping from 26 percent in 2010 to 38 percent in 2012.
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