September 22, 2019
Electronic health records (EHRs) are, in fact, an ideal example of health information technology and are intended to take the country towards the “holy grail” of data and information exchange, fluidity, and accumulation in order to help with clinical decision making as well as to improve health. Today, there is a growing trend of storing all kinds of data, including patients’ health information, on various digital platforms. People and organisations are increasingly renting and/or buying storage capacity from providers to store all sorts of data in the cloud. In addition, all the reputed cloud-based storage providers by default offer the appropriate security within their infrastructure.
Niti Aayog (Government of India) has also put forth a proposal to launch a digital, i.e. a cloud-based platform to store and share the patient health records, which is being appreciated and welcomed by the Indian medical technology companies. Called the National Health Stack, this platform is predicted to expedite the information exchange between multiple stakeholders, i.e. patients, physicians, insurance companies, national health schemes, medical researchers, and finally, the health technology companies. Niti Aayog further claims that this platform will help improving the access and affordability of healthcare and boost medical research.
Digitally storing your health records has substantial benefits. Digital storage can lead to significant cost savings as compared to the paper-based storage as well as the manual labour involved in the same. The maintenance cost of digital records is relatively much cheaper than the actual, hand-written or paper-based ones. Digitally saving your health information is easier and error-free to the maximum extent. Digital health records can also enable you to access your health information anywhere and anytime on any device. Your physician can look up a specific medical file on any available device, while away from the office. In case of a major medical crisis, being able to access this information remotely can prove helpful during collaborations. Moreover, when digitally stored, you can access and update information to help your physician better understand your own health concerns. Furthermore, this information can be made available at the click of a button and thus help your physician visits worth their time. Logging in your health information post every single visit can also help in updating your comprehensive medical history over a period of time. Digital health storage can also enable physicians to treat every patient quicker, thus fitting more patients into their schedule and increasing their productivity.
Overall, the technological advent in healthcare, including safe and sound storage and transferring of EHRs with the help of schemes like National Health Stack, and electronic access to files and cloud storage, are increasingly being preferred to achieve better care delivery as well as to build an efficient health record system. The main objective of digital storage of health information is to provide the best treatment to the patient while keeping their personal health information extremely safe and sound.