The use of electronic health register is becoming the norm, albeit there is a slow rate of adoption. Some health care providers experience problems in using them, but with time, they will be proficient in their use. The development and use of EHR are due to the problems associated with paper-based records. It was also necessitated by the need to provide comprehensive, accessible, reliable, and timely health care information to those involved in health care provision (Carter, 2008).
One advantage of EHR is that it has the ability to reduce costs and workplace inefficiencies. Although the initial cost of implementation is high, in the long term, the cost of maintaining health records will be reduced tremendously. Workplace in efficiencies such as errors associated with prescriptions and appointments will be eliminated with the use of EHRs. EHR offers large storage capability over longer periods of time. Moreover, it can be accessed from virtually any location in the system at any given time compared with paper-based records, which require large spaces and cannot be easily accessed (Carter, 2008). The information can also be retrieved instantly compared to paper-based records where one is forced to search for records in the registry or file cabinets, which is time-consuming.
EHR has the capability of providing medical alerts and reminders. EHR systems have the capability of detecting abnormal laboratory results or lethal drug interactions. EHR is closely linked to literature databases, pharmaceutical information, health care protocols, vital paths and care plans that improve the decision-making process by health care providers (Carter, 2008).
Like any other application, EHR is associated with the following disadvantages: since EHR is a new concept, the cost of implementation is high, and during initial periods it is time-consuming, resistance of employees to adapt to new changes needs maintenance. Consequently, it can cause confusion and may be prone to system failure.