In sectors from banking to car maintenance, immediate electronic access to data is the industry standard. The health care sector is different. Old-fashioned paper records are still the norm in most doctors’ practices across the country, and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has been slow even in hospitals.
The health care sector’s reliance on paper charts makes it difficult for health care providers to track patient information over time and share this information with other providers. It also makes administrative tasks such as billing more challenging. As a result, the system isn’t as safe, efficient, or effective as it could be.