Healthcare Needs of the Elderly and EMR Systems

Published on by Xenia Labis

Nowadays, most people live in societies where people have more access to food and water. As a result, people can live longer lives — as proven by 2019 statistics that reported a population of 703 million people aged 65 years and up. So, Electronic Medical Records can help professional caregivers handle the Healthcare Needs of the Elderly. However, most people use mobile devices to access the Internet, so even senior citizens can remotely access Healthcare Services.

The aging population experiences its own set of challenges that differ from younger generations. As a result, it’s critical to create EMR Systems that cater to their needs. Thus, you need an EMR that can handle an aging population’s needs. After all, you’ll need a system that can track elderly patients’ medical histories, medications, allergies, medical tests, and more. Electronic Medical Records can do these things and more, which benefits elderly patient healthcare.

However, even its counterpart, Electronic Health Records, aren’t as optimized for the elderly as they should be. So, here’s how to cater to your clinic’s elderly patients.

Caring for the Elderly

The health conditions of older adults have improved as they enjoy longer lifespans. Not only that, but because of medically-advanced procedures and medications, they experience less discomfort than previous generations. Overall, they can function better and handle day-to-day tasks in addition to living longer.

Though our current high standard of living results in a larger elderly population, medical institutions must still consider elderly patients’ needs. This situation is especially true for patients who are disabled or have chronic or severe conditions. Moreover, elderly people “use far more health care services” than younger generations.

Healthcare Needs of the Elderly

Fortunately, Electronic Medical Records Systems can provide a great deal of assistance in Elder Care. EMR Systems primarily allow you to access your medical records and provide other benefits. The system can also be optimized depending on the clinic’s specialization, such as Pediatrics or Maternity Care. Thus, patient information is easily accessible to Healthcare Providers with just a few clicks. This allows providers to diagnose and provide medications more promptly.

Challenges in dealing with the Healthcare Needs of Elderly Patients

Caring for elderly patients isn’t limited to those with chronic conditions but also healthier adults. In several cases, older people don’t need to be hospitalized frequently or live in care homes and can instead live their lives in their own homes.

In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay home, resulting in a demand for remote healthcare. The elderly population was especially at risk and thus affected by this new normal. But unfortunately, even Telemedicine has limitations. For one, Medical Institutions are unable to observe patients in person.

Here are other issues that clinics and institutions face:

Lack of Interoperability

Electronic Medical Records are beneficial to Healthcare Providers. However, in the future, EMRs will see increased collaboration among providers. As a result, professionals in specialized fields (such as dentistry, dermatology, etc.) can see a patient’s digital records and provide better care.

This challenge partially falls on elderly patients who may not offer the necessary health information because they might not see the importance of patient health history. After all, some specialists might be unable to gather the needed data via inquiry due to time constraints. Though interoperability will take some time, it’ll significantly improve the quality of healthcare in the future.

Healthcare Needs of the Elderly

Healthcare Provider Regulations

It’s also critical for Elderly Healthcare Providers to follow regulations, but this can be a challenge. There is also the consideration of Data Privacy and Security. After all, EMR Systems deal in private and sensitive information. Also, documentation and reporting requirements can change from time to time. 

It is essential to allow patients to have more control over their personal data. For instance, patients can limit the usage of their medical records. So Privacy Policies must be set in clinics that use Electronic Medical Records Systems, and staff must have regular training on such regulations. Though EMR Systems can benefit Healthcare Professionals, they must also consider the safety of their patients’ data.

Slow Rate of Adaptation

Some clinics may have a shortage of experienced staff handling elderly patient needs. In addition, the cost of EMR Systems is a factor in clinic adoption. However, there are many available, affordable systems in the market today.

In addition, there may be times when EMR usage can be a challenge due to the learning curve. But, clinics can remedy this by providing staff training for system usage.

The Benefits of EMRs for Elderly Patients

In addition to benefiting Healthcare Providers, an EMR can empower patients, including those aged 65 and over. For example, patient portals can make life even easier for elderly patients who can’t always visit a clinic in person, especially disabled patients. 

Healthcare Needs of the Elderly

In this way, an Electronic Medical Records System is an excellent solution for effective Elderly Care. Recording patient data on the system can enhance the quality of care for elderly patients. Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of an EMR for Elder Care:

• An EMR makes crucial patient information (medications, allergies, etc.) available to physicians.
• It also allows more effective usage of medical tests and reduces the need for repeat testing.
• Additionally, it reduces medication errors, including dosage.
• An EMR System ensures better, timely medical treatment, resulting in better diagnoses.

Can Cater to Elderly Patient Needs

Patients are complex, and this characteristic extends to the care they need. For instance, some patients live in care homes or their residences. In addition, some patients may have more severe conditions than others. 

Fortunately, EMR Systems can cater to the Healthcare Needs of the Elderly. With an EMR, users can consolidate and act on patient health records. So, a specialist can check the patient’s medication or prescriptions, allergies, medical examinations and even operations at a glance. 

As a result of better care coordination by Medical Professionals, elderly patients can look forward to better medical care.

older adults clinic

Increases Clinic Efficiency

An EMR can identify elderly patients requiring a more specialized care level. After all, certain patients may be frailer or sicker than most, meaning their visits have priority over healthier individuals.

In addition, because physicians can look at a patient’s health records, they make better-informed care decisions. Thus, specialists can access patient progress logs, medical examinations, recent operations, etc. Also, updating patients’ digital records is a speedy process. 

Saves Costs Over Time

An Electronic Medical Records System requires some budgeting, staff training, and maintenance or support. Sometimes the system can be cloud-based, which has several benefits. However, you can save time and effort, not just money. Computerization with EHRs can boost “economic efficiency,” so the same goes for EMRs.

Also, EMRs naturally save paper and related office supplies, as all the necessary information for the medical practice is stored in a digital format. Thus, the clinic’s efficiency will improve, especially when handling and editing patient records. Overall, you’ll find that the system will require fewer clinic resources as time passes.

Assists Elderly Patients with Prescriptions

Digital prescriptions from an EMR benefit older adults as they can help with medication management. As patients age, it can become more difficult to remember information such as prescriptions, dosage, and even the schedule. After all, depending on the patient’s condition, they may be taking several medications simultaneously. Fortunately, an EMR assists staff in creating prescriptions that won’t conflict with allergies and current medications. 

older adults clinic

Additionally, Clinics can send a prescription directly to the patient, especially if they have access to their records via a patient portal. So they won’t risk losing paper prescriptions or even not following them. For example, a clinic can send prescriptions to partnered pharmacies via the EMR. Thus, a patient can just pick it up upon leaving the clinic.

Cater to the Needs of the Elderly with EMR-Assisted Healthcare!

We live in a society that’s characterized by medical advancements. As a result, healthcare has improved for both providers and patients. So, EMRs or Electronic Medical Records can handle the needs of elderly patients.

With an EMR System, elderly patients don’t need to report their medical history to different medical institutions when required. This way, Healthcare Providers can offer more timely treatment and diagnosis.

Thus, you can count on systems, especially Electronic Medical Records in the Philippines, to assist Medical Professionals in caring for their elderly patients.