Sanchez-Roige, S., & Palmer, A. A. (2019). Electronic health records are the next frontier for the genetics of substance use disorders. Trends in Genetics, 35(5), 317-318.
The article emphasizes on the effectiveness of health records as the next frontier for the genetics of substance use disorders. Electronic Health Records as a form of health information technology enhances the management of patient’s medical information. It increases the efficiency of data, through paperwork elimination, and giving immediate access to patient’s data access. It also improves the patient’s care quality, as their information is easily shared in all departments, hence avoiding the possible medical errors.
As pointed in the article, Electronic Health Records have extensive longitudinal data, which are factors of routine’s clinical care. Such than includes the results from the laboratory tests, the structured billing data, and unstructured information from physical notes. The use of Electronic Health Records has continued in genetic analysis, as well as in other medical phenotypes. It has been offering tremendous opportunities for substance use disorders (SUD) genetics; this must undergo a rigorous validation. The EHR can identify meaningful biological groups, which enhance the genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
The increased use of EHR has offered unprecedented opportunities in expanding the outcomes of treatment and improving the drug’s response data. Besides, it helps in identifying sub phenotypes or clusters associated with the drug abuse. Furthermore, the stigma of SUD diagnosis has limited the availability of documentation. Despite this challenge, EHR has enhanced sharing of information across different systems, thus increasing its ability in the future studies of genetic SUDs. In return, this is expected to enhance the creation of prediction models, which allow the risk prediction of the treatment and SUDs responses. I think that EHR is very useful in improving the quality of health services offered to patients with SUD since it enhances privacy and better storage of data.
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