medical records in patient care

Unleashing the Power of Medical Records to Revolutionize Patient Care

Real-time access to medical records, care guidelines, and comparative medical evidence can drastically improve how doctors and other healthcare professionals make treatment decisions. It is especially crucial for treating patients with pre-existing conditions, complex illnesses, and longstanding medical histories. 

medical records and care guidelines

The Challenge of Evidence Gaps in Patient Care

Evidence gaps are discrepancies or differences between medical practices and research studies. But due to limited resources, many doctors are unable to match their treatment plans with the latest research findings, often leading to suboptimal care or unnecessary treatments.

Take a look at the following evidence-gap challenges in healthcare:

Limited awareness and access

Over time, as new healthcare technologies emerge, so do modern treatments and medications for harmful diseases. Despite the industry’s potential, not all providers can keep up with the latest prevention strategies and diagnostic advancements. The lack of access to the latest research and treatment breakthroughs leads to a gap in patient care. 

Clinical variations

Due to limited resources, healthcare providers may interpret the available data differently. When diagnosing a patient, doctors could also end up relying on their personal experience and judgment, thus creating inconsistencies. That is why hospitals and clinics need to set up more established policies and guidelines to help healthcare professionals make the right call for their patients.

Patient heterogeneity

Not all patients have similar body reactions to prescribed treatments and medications. Despite being diagnosed with the same condition, every patient responds differently. Healthcare providers must develop tailored treatment plans based on the unique needs of their patients. Conducting studies on diverse patient populations can help doctors delve deeper into different health conditions while considering the individual characteristics of each patient.

Emerging technologies

Recent innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning significantly impact how healthcare organizations handle patient data. AI-powered systems help automate processes while improving patient care outcomes. However, it becomes crucial for providers to gather evidence to support these innovations. By conducting studies, they can reduce potential risks and uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of these emerging trends.

Ethical considerations

Evidence gaps in patient care can also raise ethical concerns. For instance, a patient may be denied access to a potentially life-saving treatment due to a lack of evidence-based guidelines. Healthcare providers may also be torn between providing the best possible care and following ethical principles. As such, evidence gaps could lead to care disparities, preventing certain patients from receiving the type of care they need and deserve.

The Potential of Digital Consultation Services

With the advent of modern platforms, doctors can interact with their patients anywhere at any time. Nowadays, medical providers can efficiently conduct digital consultation services through chat, video calls, and other mobile apps. Many patients also prefer doing online consultations rather than personally going to clinics and hospitals.

Instead of scheduling in-person appointments, patients find it more convenient to communicate with their doctors remotely. They can also save time by avoiding the long queues in the clinic. Doctors, on the other hand, can provide immediate medical assistance through teleconsulting. Doing so also allows them to regularly follow up with patients, especially those who require ongoing care.

Historical Efforts to Consult Medical Records for Evidence

Unleashing the Power of Medical Records to Revolutionize Patient Care

Case studies

Researchers use medical records to observe individual patterns and trends for chronic illnesses. Previous and ongoing studies can provide valuable insights into the potential adverse effects of specific medications. By cross-checking different patient data, doctors can determine similarities or differences to generate new treatments for a particular health condition.

Retrospective studies

To gain a broader perspective on different health conditions, healthcare providers can use historical medical records to identify risk factors. By doing so, they can evaluate the impact of specific interventions on diverse patient populations. Moreover, doctors can compare treatment outcomes to come up with more effective ones.

Cohort studies and registries

Researchers collect information about a specific disease through medical records. Cohorts or registries are called experimental treatments that doctors use better to understand the risk factors and natural disease progression. These can provide valuable evidence regarding the effectiveness of available interventions.

Systematic reviews

By consulting medical records, researchers can compare trends to develop desirable conclusions from multiple studies. Systematic reviews help bridge evidence gaps by providing a comprehensive overview of the medical research available.

Unleashing the Power of Medical Records to Revolutionize Patient Care

The Feasibility of On-Demand Evidence Generation

On-demand evidence generation leverages real-world data, such as electronic health records (EHRs) and wearable device data. Patient-reported outcomes can rapidly generate evidence regarding specific clinical needs. This approach allows researchers and healthcare professionals to access large datasets in real time. By harnessing the power of big data analytics, on-demand evidence generation can identify patterns more efficiently than traditional research methods.

Mayo Clinic and Atropos Health: Partnerships to Enhance Database Consults

In 2018, physicians from Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study to seek on-demand evidence. The said study gained 100 consultation requests from 53 users with different specialties. Accordingly, the doctors piloted the Green Button Informatics Consult Service to establish the feasibility of on-demand evidence generation.

In partnership with Atropos Health, Mayo Clinic aims to harness the power of electronic health record systems to deliver improved patient care outcomes. As one of the renowned healthcare giants, Atropos Health helped Mayo Clinic to enhance its digital platform, which consists of millions of patient records. This initiative can empower healthcare providers to gain access to a comprehensive medical database for their future research developments.

Harnessing the Power of Electronic Health Records for Improved Care

EHRs help facilitate better care coordination and communication among healthcare organizations. It’s a transformative tool that empowers providers, giving them access to timely and accurate medical information. It also helps address the challenges associated with evidence gaps so healthcare providers can stay up-to-date with medical research breakthroughs and treatment innovations. Furthermore, EHRs can help improve patient outcomes by providing a comprehensive view of a patient’s medical history.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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