Saving Lives and Saving Time: A Look into EHR Systems

July 21, 2022

Numerous studies investigating the impact of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems have been conducted. Poissant et al.’s systematic review from 2005 suggests that while the implementation of an EHR yields both strengths and limitations, its primary advantage is increasing user and system efficiency. Frontida Records recognizes this core feature of EHRs by catering to the needs of our partners through in-person and virtual modalities, and providing perpetual technical support. 

In October of this year, the Frontida Records team traveled to Panama to meet with one of our partners, Floating Doctors, to implement a customized EHR system. During our week there, we accompanied Floating Doctors to three remote clinics: Sharkhole, Valle Escondido, and Cerro Brujo. Within each clinic we recorded documentation times of patient visits using paper and electronic records to evaluate and compare the efficiency of our system.

Using a pen, paper, and a stopwatch, our team quantified how long each aspect of a patient visit lasted at these three community clinics. The duration times for active documentation of patient information for administrative processing, intake, and provider-care were recorded for both paper and electronic record-keeping methods. To analyze our results, frequencies and means were calculated, and a two-sample independent t-test via the SAS 9.4, a statistical software, was employed to find the average difference in time between paper and electronic methods. The results of our findings can be found below in Figure 1 which depicts the difference in average duration (in minutes) by documentation type. Overall, our electronic health record system proved to increase efficiency of documentation during all aspects of a medical visit in these three clinics. 

From this first implementation of our system, we have confirmed that the use of electronic health records significantly improves the healthcare experience for patients, providers, and administrators. With a customizable health record system, like Frontida Records, medical clinics can benefit from:

1. Decreased patient waiting time, depletion of resources, etc., 

2. Increase in productivity, faster services, readability/accuracy, security, etc., and 

3. Prospective reduction of the risk of physician burnout.

Moving forward, we hope to further develop features that can provide additional support for our customers. Frontida Records would like to thank the clinics of Sharkhole, Valle Escondido, Cerro Brujo, and Floating Doctors for partnering with us to empower both doctors and patients in Panama and beyond!

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