30 May Why a Pediatric-Specific EHR Matters
Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. When it comes to choosing an electronic health record (EHR) solution, less is actually more if you’re in a pediatrics practice. That’s because a well-rounded adult-centric EHR is likely to be less helpful than one specially built for your area of expertise.
Statistics from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology show 86.9% of office-based physicians already had an EHR back in 2015. A report two years later from Medical Economics showed 43% had used three or more EHRs, however, mostly as a result of dissatisfaction with the systems they chose initially.
Most EHR solutions offer features such as:
- tracking the patients’ medical history
- previous diagnoses
- current and former medication and treatment plans
- allergies and test results
- practice inventory management
So, how is a pediatric-specific EHR different? In quite a number of ways, actually, but we’ve highlighted three to start you thinking about the possibilities.
Supports Timely Decision-Making
To make the right patient care decisions at the right time, it’s vital for physicians to have accurate information available. An adult-centric EHR with default programming, for example, is unlikely to deliver a warning for a blood pressure reading of 120/80. If the patient is a 10-year old child, this BP level is too high to go unaddressed.
A pediatric-specific EHR, however, uses exact measurements for vitals that are calibrated according to the patient’s age and other factors. This reduces the margin for error and helps you to make appropriate choices for your patient.
Enables Vaccination Management
With vaccinations continuing to be a hot-button issue in 2019, having enough vaccine inventory is critical to be certain you can provide immunizations for your patients as and when they are needed. Otherwise, you could miss opportunities to vaccinate, which can cause inconvenience for the patient and their family. More importantly, if a child is exposed to a preventable illness because the vaccination wasn’t available, it’s a potential legal minefield for your practice.
At the same time, many vaccines are perishable substances that need to be stored safely and used within a certain timeframe. Since vaccinations are a major income stream for pediatric physicians, and practices work with much larger quantities of vaccines than adult-centric practices do, you’ll want the EHR you choose to be optimized for managing these.
Protects Adolescents’ Privacy
Data privacy is one of the biggest areas of concern these days, but in contemporary families, there’s often a sense that a child’s business is the parent’s business. That may apply to many things in life, but when it comes to medical records it’s not strictly true. Teens who need treatment for conditions like STDs, contraception or even eating disorders may not want their parents to have access to everything, and since the sharing of information doesn’t apply to most adult-centric EHRs, practices using them might not have any options beyond disabling certain features to prevent access.
With data driving the success of practices, you can ill afford when you treat an adolescent to have incomplete access to their records, however. A pediatric-specific EHR solution will equip you to store the records you need but without making them available for parental viewing.
If you’re still not sure a pediatric-specific EHR is the best option for you, download this eBook to discover how a well-rounded EHR may be limiting your practice.