Why Electronic Health Records are Better than Paper Records?

Accurate and thorough documentation of patient information is essential to providing quality care. Although the healthcare industry has made significant progress in adopting electronic health records and digitizing patient data, many healthcare facilities still rely on paper and electronic records to maintain patient information.

Join us as we analyze the recent trends and facts surrounding the uses of paper versus electronic health records, highlighting the innate benefits of transitioning to electronic health records to improve healthcare services.

Electronic Health Records vs Paper-Based Records: A Comprehensive Analysis


Numerous studies have been conducted in recent years to compare the effectiveness of electronic health records (EHRs) to paper-based records. These studies have primarily focused on a few factors, including, but not limited to, record completeness, accurate retrieval ability, time consumption, and other economic and clinical parameters.

According to a study by the International Journal for Quality in Healthcare, electronic medical records have been proven to provide more accurate and faster retrieval of medication documents. On average, electronic medical records were 40% more complete and 20% faster to retrieve. Such comparisons have facilitated a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of EHRs over traditional paper-based records.

The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and Online Journal of Public Health Informatics studies concluded that “dual documentation practice” across the nation’s healthcare organizations is the primary reason affecting EMR data quality. This is further hindered by patient overload and the discreetness of each patient profile. 

Furthermore, both studies suggested that healthcare providers shift either side of health recording and train their staff to adjust the upgraded system accordingly.

The lessons learned from this study are that medical professionals should be cognizant of the possible discrepancies between paper and electronic information and look toward combining information from both records whenever appropriate.

JAMIA (Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association)


A medical record is a detailed report made at the initial registry of a patient. It includes all symptoms, signs, physicians’ and other healthcare providers’ comments. A patient’s medical record is the complete directory of a patient’s health, quoting all care observations and treatment plans.


Paper-based patient records (PPR) date back to the 1960s. For decades, they have been considered the “Gold Standard.” Often, electronic health records are validated against paper-based data records.

Traditional paper-based records imply recording patient information using paper, discs, or films stored in physical space. Color-coded cards and filing systems are famous types of PPRs.


Despite the customization ease of PPRs, futuristic technology infers physicians’ shift to digital patient recording. Even with conventional records’ acquaintance, paper-based records impose several cons.


– Using paper files requires a lower cost compared to digital data-keeping.

– Familiarity with PPRs (Patient Paper Records) provides a great advantage. Many senior physicians and older practices are more comfortable with this system and find digital data-keeping troublesome.

– Practices in rural areas with lower connectivity issues benefit from PPRs as they do not require an internet connection.


– Human errors such as poor handwriting, misspelled medications or tests, inaccurate frequency filling, and misplaced records can have life-threatening consequences.

– Making constant changes to records manually can create alteration hassles.

– Patient record-keeping becomes more challenging with increased patient inflow. This can require extra physical storage for paper patient records (PPRs). However, booking an external warehouse comes with additional problems, including extra costs for renting or purchasing a separate data storage warehouse. Additionally, medical records should be kept in hand and easily accessible when needed. No matter how close the warehouse is, it can delay the emergency treatment of critical patients.


Due to the frequency and diversity of electronic health record systems, many healthcare organizations are shifting towards EHRs. These are digital filling of patients’ conditions and all relevant data that might intervene in future diagnoses. 


As of 2021, almost 4 out of 5 office-based doctors (78%) and nearly all non-federal acute care hospitals (96%) have adopted a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR). This is a significant improvement over the past decade since only 28% of hospitals and 34% of physicians had adopted EHRs in 2011. Electronic Health Records have long-term benefits that outweigh Paper-based Patient Records (PPRs).


– Electronic Health Records (EHR) have made collecting patient data promptly and efficiently possible. Integrating EHR software with external technology vendors has made incorporating the digital system into medical practices easy. CareCloud’s specialty-specific templates make it easier to incorporate patient data and file accurate treatment plans.

– Interoperability with an existing digital data system helps physicians to collect lab results, medication records, and toxicity reports faster, improving critical patient care and diagnostic measures. Additionally, the CareCloud Connector can also provide benefits.

ICD coding and billing processing occur simultaneously with patient care. Physicians’ services are accurately coded, billed, and filled in the system automatically as physicians treat patients.

-Higher data confidentiality is ensured through authorized accessed records and personal sign-ins of all staff workers. EHR software timestamps and tracks changes, securing patient data and eliminating security breaches.

-Data encryption is mandatory with all modern-day electronic health records, ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations. Maximum security is prioritized with CareCloud, protecting patient records within the organization and preventing unauthorized access.


-Electronic Health Records (EHR) can be expensive initially but having a comprehensive EHR like CareCloud’s can help grow practice revenue significantly thus becoming an affordable option for organizations in the long run as their annual revenue increases.

-High-Speed Internet Requirement: Having access to high-speed internet service is essential to eliminate any lagging in the Electronic Health Records system and make it run smoothly.


Although paper-based records are considered the gold standard for patient records, EHR shows qualitative and quantitative benefits in procedural coding with advanced coding rules. Also, EHR’s have the core potential for accurate data-keeping, thus enhancing accurate patient management.

CareCloud’s cloud-based EHR system understands a practice’s shifting to digital data records struggles. Hence, we have created flexible and advanced software with backend support that shall:

  • Record real-time data alongside integrating previous patient records.
  • Expedite clinical encounters with multiple reusable templates to configure.
  • Flexible charting options help office staff to retrieve older records faster with digital data.

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