What is a Clinical First EHR?

Patient records have traditionally been maintained on paper, in files, in rows and rows of specially tabbed folders in a physician’s office. When the patient came in for an appointment, an assistant would retrieve the paper file, make some notes on it, and place it in a file holder outside the exam room for the physician to pick up before seeing the patient.

Notes from other providers, lab results, and information from healthcare facilities would have to be sent to the physician’s office via fax or regular mail. When that information did not arrive in a timely manner, a staff member had to make additional calls or send more faxes to request the records again. When received, those notes were inserted into the patient’s file for the physician to flip through and read while the patient waited.

Electronic health records (EHRs) have changed the entire process, for the better. EHRs are electronic versions of those paper files, with the added touch of being shared seamlessly and securely between all providers involved in the patient’s healthcare. The physician has all the information needed to treat the patient effectively with one click and, as a result, also has more time to spend talking to and listening to the patient during the visit.

The Office of Health Information Technology (IT) details the advantages of EHRs over paper files in that they “are built to share information with other healthcare providers and organizations – such as laboratories, specialists, medical imaging facilities, pharmacies, emergency facilities, and school and workplace clinics – so they contain information from all clinicians involved in a patient’s care.”

Elation’s Clinical First EHR is more than just an electronic record. It is a commitment to building a provider-centric Clinical EHR that exists at the nexus of the clinical workflow, supports the physician-patient relationship, and drives outstanding patient outcomes. The Clinical First EHR also enables the physician to quickly identify patients who aren’t meeting goals based on custom care management protocols, Meaningful Use objectives, or specific document tags, and easily schedule a follow-up appointment to address any potential gaps in care.