Preventive Health care is the growing need of the hour. It is two very significant words which comprises of measures that are taken to prevent the occurrence of diseases rather than treating them. Needless to mention that preventive health care strongly follows the motto of “Prevention is better than cure.” There are several factors like lifestyle choices, genetic predisposition, disease agents, and environmental factors which affect disease and disability.
Each year millions of people die preventable deaths either due to diseases of the heart, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic lower respiratory diseases, or cancer. The stress is on the word preventable deaths because these are avoidable with timely medications, a better lifestyle, proper diet, and regular monitoring, more concisely put Preventive Health care.
According to a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to observed deaths the proportion of preventable deaths stood at 34% for diseases of the heart, 21% for cancer, 39% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, and 33% for cerebrovascular diseases or stroke.
Also worth mentioning is the origin for these diseases which is often due to poor diet, inactive lifestyle, chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, excessive intake of alcohol, and smoking being the major ones. Often with such health history a patient is expected to be a victim to any of the above mentioned causes of death.
It is therefore essential to bring solutions that can enhance the quality of healthcare, by providing a holistic approach, which is patient centric and invites them to get involved in their treatment process. This is where Electronic Health Records play a meaningful role, a key element to the future of health care. With its comprehensive data that often influences clinical alerts, EHR often reduces medication errors, prompts pending tests and even additional tests in certain cases depending upon the patient’s health symptoms. Thus with a constant computing device at the background, care providers become more efficient which in turn strengthens relations between doctors and patients. The decision support tool of an EHR ensures preventive services are provided for patients at the point of care. Thus EHR helps prevent errors of commission and errors of omission by physicians.
Apart from that, a perfectly configured EHR invites patients to actively engage in their treatment, which is extremely essential for patients suffering from chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, thyroid etc. With their unique patient ID they can access their medical history anytime, anywhere and they come to know the prolonged consequences of such diseases and what can they do to prevent it. The preventive measures thus suggested educate patients on the seriousness of the disease and the significance of aversion.It also encourages them to lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid the future occurrence of diseases associated with any form of chronic ailments.
With strong initiatives from the government, many hospitals have implemented certified EHR technologies and are realizing its functionality through the meaningful use objectives, which play an extremely significant role in Preventive Health care.