contact us

The EHR Systems: Why is Documentation Important in Healthcare?

Get the inside scoop on the latest healthcare trends and receive sneak peeks at new updates, exclusive content, and helpful tips.

Contact Us

    Posted in Electronic Health Records

    Last Updated | October 4, 2023

    Overview of Why Is Documentation Important In Healthcare

    There’s a common question why is documentation important in healthcare? Well, over the course of the last two decades, the medical industry has greatly evolved, and the demand for integrated and convenient medical documentation has been increasing to improve the efficiency and productivity of healthcare services for both patients and physicians. The impact of electronic health records is pretty effective, but there are also various challenges in implementing electronic health records.

    Electronic health records have improved the monitoring of patient care while minimizing the risk of errors during the treatment process. With the ever-changing technological standards, it’s essential to understand the documentation process and why it has become a crucial part of the medical industry. That being said, below we will be sharing the importance of proper medical documentation in the EHRs!

    Standards and Guidelines Pertaining To Health Records

    Why is documentation important in healthcare? is a widely asked question, but understanding the standards and guidelines pertaining to health records is even more important. To begin with, the health records must have the patient’s ID number and name on every page. As for the patients’ biodata, it must include the contact number, employer, address, and marital status.

    The entries in medical and health records should have identification, such as electronic initials, identifiers, and handwritten signatures. As far as the entrees are concerned, they must be dated. The health records have a problem list, which must include the medical conditions or illnesses of the patients. On top of everything, the potential adverse reactions or medication allergies must be outlined.

    One might believe that only the current medical information of patients is essential, but the health records also need to include the past medical history, inclusive of severe illnesses, conditions, and accidents. In the case of younger patients, the medical history needs to include the illnesses and operations of childhood, along with prenatal care.

    One essential guideline is adding information about the use of substances and alcohol in patients. With the medical health records, the lab tests must be ordered, along with diagnoses for outlining the findings. With health records, the physicians have to ensure that treatment plans are complying with the diagnoses, along with follow-up care and visits.

    The health records must outline the unresolved issues through medical treatments. In case patients request a consultation, a note from the consultant must be added to the records. All the lab reports, imaging reports, and consultation reports must be initialed by the physician before it’s added to the health records. Also, the immunization records of young patients must be updated.

    Medical Record Documentation – Best Practices

    Electronic health records and documentation can be complicated, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that doctors are still trying to adapt to the change. To begin with, physicians must have a clear understanding of the scope and best practices for maintaining medical record documentation. Certain best practices can assist physicians in keeping up with the right medical record documentation.

    These practices are essential for the proper exchange of information during interactions between patients and physicians. In addition, it ensures that all the interactions are properly recorded and integrated with the notes. These practices involve ensuring that health records have accurate and precise information. Also, the patients must encourage routine analysis of healthcare records.

    The medical staff must ensure that health record documentation is part of the competencies. The healthcare facilities must implement the six Cs with medical record documentation which includes the cause of disease symptoms, clinical importance of the negative test results, and chronic conditions that can influence patient care.

    In addition, six Cs also include clarity and checking the laterality. The documentation review must be conducted properly, ensuring that everyone is able to understand the knowledge gaps. The physicians must collaborate with each other to create practical and measurable goals for improving the documentation.

    3 Main Reasons Documentation Is Important In Healthcare

    To understand the importance of documentation standards in the electronic health record even further here are 3 main reasons to consider; 

    • Improved Patient Care Across Multiple Healthcare Facilities

    The importance of accurate medical records plays a vital role when we look at how multiple healthcare institutes deal with one patient. Patients aren’t only coming to visit you. They frequently collaborate with a variety of medical professionals at many facilities—sometimes to address a single disease or injury! The communication between your office and those who are treating your patients will be improved by providing clear, precise documentation, ensuring that no crucial information about the treatment plan you’ve developed is missed.

    • Reduced Risk Management Exposure

    Risk management exposure is one of the many reasons why the importance of documentation in healthcare comes into play. Accurate and thorough documentation lowers risks and lowers the likelihood that a malpractice claim will be upheld. In the case of a claim, having a thorough record of the patient’s care and treatment allays any worries about culpability.  If you face a professional liability lawsuit and several years have passed, the records will become helpful as one of the benefits of documentation in healthcare.

    • Improved Future Care

    Patients anticipate that their issues will become better after they leave your clinic. They frequently do. In other situations, issues might return later or your approach might not help the patient achieve their overall wellness and health objectives. You may make sure that you, your patient, have the right documentation in healthcare to any potential providers about any care provided, including any attempted treatments, by keeping adequate records.

    What Is The Primary Purpose Of EHRs?

    The electronic health record is the digitalized paper chart of the patients. These solutions are real-time and are focused on patients for instant availability of the information. In addition, it promises secure storage of data and information for authorized users. Hence, what is the purpose of documentation in healthcare remains vital in people’s research.

    As per the EHR documentation standards, the primary purpose of EHR in proper medical documentation is its ability to contain the treatment plans, diagnoses, medical history, medications, allergies, immunization dates, lab test results, and radiology images. It allows access to tools that physicians can use for making decisions regarding patient care and treatment plans.

    The implementation of EHRs can help streamline and monitor healthcare workflow processes. With proper adherence to the medical record documentation standards, healthcare facilities will be able to create the information and manage it in a digital form. In addition, even the Affordable Care Act and electronic health records help with information sharing across different facilities and organizations.

    It’s already a fact that EHRs are seamlessly replacing paper-based patient charts with electrical and digital patient charts. It can be utilized for producing electronic notes without compromising efficiency and effectiveness. With EHRs, the clinical notes can be easily entered that align with the documentation and evaluation standards. There is multiple EHR software suitable for mental health.

    HL7 Integration Engine with EHR Systems

    In modern healthcare environments, the purpose of the integration engine is to ensure quick software deployment. The integration engines can ease the connectivity and leverage the data for improved operations. Moreover, it allows the implementation and adoption of new technology, which improves the workflow for healthcare providers. Not to forget, it can utilize data for connecting patients with healthcare, which emphasizes even more the importance of documentation in healthcare.

    There are multiple benefits of integrating the HL7 integration engine with EHR systems. First of all, it can help migrate the EHRs and integrate new apps into the healthcare infrastructure. Moreover, the deployment of interfaces will be quicker. Perhaps, the most significant benefit of the integration is that it can help maintain higher data availability for healthcare providers to reduce downtime and lead to efficient emergency response.

    The integration of EHR systems and the HL7 integration engine can also help with data exchange with web APIs and HL7 FHIR (the data exchange is done according to the set standards). In addition, it can help develop logical workflows for providing on-time alerts to the designated healthcare provider. On top of everything, this integration helps keep an eye on every interface’s status. Lastly, it can integrate data between the on-site and cloud systems.

    With the right vendor, healthcare facilities can build the interfaces accurately and efficiently. We suggest that you look for integrated systems that are characterized by develop-and-test IDE and configuration wizards. In addition, it should offer mapping for the development of basic interfaces. To summarize, the integration of EHR systems and the HL7 integration engine promises seamless data flow.

    HL7 integration

    Best Tips for Medical Documentation with the Help of EHRs

    The medical documentation process is incredibly important (equally important to patient interactions). With accurate notes and reports, the communication about care continuity and practices is improved. Also, it reduces the chances of queries and enhances the claim reimbursements despite the high cost to make a healthcare mobile app. This is one of the prime reasons that organizations have invested in automated solutions.

    These automated solutions allow physicians to improve their clinical notes. However, some tips can improve the outcome and effectiveness of the medical record and documentation, such as;

    • Identifying the Professional Standards

    To improve the medical documentation, professional standards and guidelines must be outlined that comply with the industry standards. These standards must have brevity and clarity.

    • Education & Awareness

    It’s evident that some healthcare facilities think that new recruits will be aware of CMS medical record documentation guidelines and standards, but these skills can be improved. It’s suggested to create a well-integrated and structured awareness and training campaign. The training must be offered about medical documentation to new as well as current employees.

    • Support Systems

    In particular, we are talking about peer-to-peer support systems. For reducing the dependence on EHR vendors, nominating the personnel to head the documentation improvement will be a better choice. The personnel must be aware of the ins and outs of top documentation practices.

    • Reviewing the Information 

    This is the most important yet the most underrated part of the documentation process. Everyone must review the documentation system because it’s beneficial for improving the accuracy of electronic health records. All in all, small errors can be identified, corrected, and validated.

    Electronic Medical Records Policy and Procedure Template in EHRs

    • Declaration of Legal Health Records

    When it comes down to the electronic medical records policy and procedure for EHRs, there are specific elements that are often mentioned in the medical documentation template. In the first place, legal health records must be declared. It includes the source of clinical data, clinical records, external reports, and records.

    • Completion Of Documents

    The documents must be optimized and completed. There are paper as well as electronic portions to consider when it comes down to documents. It’s essential to localize the electronic documents and ensure that the documents are only available in the read-only form.

    • Amendments & Corrections 

    The policy and procedure template in the electronic health records must include amendments and corrections. The changes are made in the form of amendments, deletions, and addendums. However, the changes are not limited to the back-end programs. As far as the changes are concerned, it must have the feature to change the account number, medical record number, patient name, service data, and signature.

    • Authentication, Dating, And Timing

    The authentication and timing must be consistent and comply with federal and state laws. All the entries and data in the medical records must be authenticated, dated, and timed in electrical as well as written form. This must be done by the person who is responsible for providing the provided services. Also, all the information and entries must be documented accurately.

    • Versioning 

    When it comes down to the versioning of medical record documentation, the healthcare facilities have to check if different versions of the document will be displayed or only the final version. In addition, it outlines who will have access to the document version, and the flagging must be outlined for every version and their availability.

    • Records Of Outpatients 

    Healthcare facilities have to maintain a record of every patient who is receiving outpatient services. This record must be correlated and maintained according to the medical records from emergency and inpatients.

    • Responsibilities 

    The healthcare facilities should work in collaboration with the legal and information services for creating and maintaining the documents. The content needed for decision-making must be identified. Also, all the information content should be developed, coordinated, and administered.

    • Maintenance & Revision 

    The legal health record policy and procedures must be revised after an in-depth review. The review must be done on an annual basis. Also, it ensures that information is updated and in compliance with current data.

    Medical Record Documentation and Legal Aspects Using EHRs

    • Malpractice Claims in Medicine

    The EHRs surely show better performance and long-term benefits. However, there are some errors associated with the implementation process or transiting from a manual to a digital system. That being said, it can result in malpractices and errors, which subsequently lead to penalties, and fines for hospitals, and other healthcare institutions.

    • Medical Errors

    It’s usually believed that EHRs can reduce the chances of medical errors. However, extra dependence and complacency on these systems can result in minor mistakes that can result in colossal medical errors.

    • Unauthorized Access 

    With the higher utilization of technology, there are rising threats to cybersecurity breaches. The computerized system is always prone to unauthorized access by hackers, hence the higher chances of data theft. That being said, unauthorized access can lead to strict legal actions against hospitals, and healthcare facilities.

    Medical Record Documentation Examples Which Fit In EHR

    When it comes down to electronic medical records, medical record documentation has various factors involved, such as billing data, administrative data, demographics of patients, progress notes, medical histories, and vital signs. In addition, it outlines the medications, diagnoses, allergies, immunization dates, and radiology images.

    Impact of Electronic Health Records on Healthcare Documentation Specialist Roles and Responsibilities

    To begin with, the impact goes beyond the prescription of medications when we talk about the documentation in healthcare importance. According to early research, electronic records can enhance preventive care for different conditions. In addition, these systems have improved cardiovascular conditions within the primary care niche. These documentation systems can be utilized for implementing the care guidelines.

    These systems can improve the management and communication of clinical information for patients as well as healthcare providers. In addition, these systems help to minimize errors in prescriptions. Also, the complex orders can be clarified and help with improved and quicker access to health information and data.


    What is documentation in healthcare?

    For communication between physicians, other providers, and payers as well as for transferring crucial clinical information regarding each patient’s diagnosis, course of treatment, and outcomes, documentation is a key tool. The importance of documentation in hospital is considered greatly because they proactively respond to inquiries from payers concerning the services, such as the following:

    • Does the service meet a medical need?
    • Are the treatment’s objectives and aims practical?
    • How does this service benefit the patient’s overall health and multidisciplinary care?
    • Is a particular and successful treatment for the patient’s condition supported by the documentation?

    Why documentation is important in healthcare?

    The ability to raise the standard of patient care is the documentation’s most significant advantage in the healthcare industry. Doctors are better able to diagnose and treat patients when they have access to the patient’s comprehensive medical history.

    What is one of the purposes of medical documentation?

    Precise and clear documentation is essential for providing quality care to patients while ensuring timely payments. On top of everything, the medical documentation will empower the healthcare providers to plan the treatment, thus improving the overall quality of healthcare services.

    Which principle should guide the nurse’s documentation of entries on the client’s medical record?

    When it concerns the principles for guiding the documentation entries, precise measurements must be used instead of approximate values.

    What are some ways to reduce medical errors in documentation?

    To reduce medical errors in documentation, the procedures must be double or triple-checked. In addition, using the name alerts and following the correct reconciliation processes is essential. Lastly, everything must be documented properly.

    That being said, one other way of reducing medical errors in documentation is investing in UX research in the healthcare field. This is because research will help design the proper documentation system that enables intuitiveness.

    Why are accurate medical coding, billing, and documentation important?

    It can lead to on-time payment claims for physicians and hospitals. In addition, accurate documentation will result in effective and better patient care services.

    What is a medical documentation specialist?

    The medical documentation specialist is responsible for listening to the physicians’ voice records. Also, they transcribe the information into electronic records and reviews.

    How is the documentation organized in the patient’s medical record?

    The documentation is organized in the patient’s medical records in the categories of vital signs, demographics, medications, problems, allergies, progress notes, and treatment plans. It can be recorded on online systems

    What is a healthcare documentation specialist?

    The healthcare documentation specialist is responsible for creating the medical records of the patients and revising different aspects of the patient’s health and medications.

    How much does Telemedicine startup cost?

    The telemedicine startup cost ranges from $1500 and $2000 and can go as far as $100,000 for a full-fledged business. The cost involves hardware, as well as software components such as high-speed internet, computer system, and other paraphernalia, which are essential for video communication with the patient, and large storage space for medical data storage.

    About the Author

    Noc Folio3