Through EHRs physicians will be able to access a patient’s full medical history, such as allergies and family history, with the click of a button. They will also have schedules and reminders at their fingertips, for example, when a patient might be due for their next mammogram. Now, EHRs are proving to go one step further by helping doctors with evidence-based medicine.
A new study conducted by Reuters Health, suggests that using electronic health records can steer doctors in the right direction when it comes to treating patients, resulting in a cut down of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.
Physicians oftentimes cannot tell whether the sickness of a patient is viral or bacterial. They are more likely to treat with an antibiotic, just in case the patient has a bacterial infection. Because of this pattern, unnecessary antibiotic prescribing is on the rise.
Due to bugs becoming more resistant to the drugs with each prescription, each time antibiotics are used it is harder to treat the next time around.
The study reviewed electronic health records of 28,000 patients who saw one of 69 doctors, all in the same hospital. The study also compared findings of what patients were typically prescribed when complaining of a cough or fever from the Annals of Internal Medicine. Findings show that the during flu “pandemic” periods doctors are less likely to prescribe antibiotic prescriptions. In addition, the more patients a doctor sees in a week with flu like symptoms, the less likely they are to prescribe an antibiotic. This is because they believe the flu is going around. Unfortunately trends are only noticed during flu season.
This sparks the idea of using EHRs to go beyond doctors putting together trends just during flu season. With access to a myriad of files doctors can research and note trends going on in their community to track viral diseases at any given time. Doctors will now be able to improve patient care by offering the right prescriptions.
Doctors who use Perfect Care EHR can begin to take advantage of electronic health records to improve patient care. Call us today to get started.