Computer technology continues to make rapid advances in healthcare facilities. Many healthcare facilities have used computer programs for administrative functions such as payroll and billing. Electronic health record (EHR) systems have the potential to transform the health care system from a mostly paper-based industry to one that utilizes clinical and other pieces of information to assist providers in delivering higher quality of care to their patients. EHR (Electronic Health Record) is an information sharing system for both patients and doctors.
Electronic Health Record or EMR is a computerized medical record of a patient in a digital form. It provides the opportunity for healthcare organizations to improve quality of care and patient safety. “The greatest challenge in the new world of integrated healthcare delivery is to provide comprehensive, reliable, relevant, accessible, and timely patient information to each member of the healthcare team whether in primary or secondary care and whether a doctor, nurse, allied health professional, or patient/consume” (Schloeffel et al.
2). EHRs are a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports”. Some of the basic benefits associated with EHRs include being able to easily access computerized records and the elimination of poor penmanship, which has historically plagued the handwritten medical chart.
This technology can offer a more consistent method for open communication among physicians, nurses, labs and other clinical staff without relying on handwritten notes stored in a single-location, electronic health records can help with the time it takes to treat someone. Researchers have examined the benefits of EHRs by considering clinical, organizational, and societal outcomes. Clinical outcomes include improvements in the quality of care, a reduction in medical errors, and other improvements in patient-level measures that describe the appropriateness of care.
Organizational outcomes, on the other hand, have included such items as financial and operational performance, as well as satisfaction among patients and clinicians who use EHRs. Lastly, societal outcomes include being better able to conduct research and achieving improved population health. Patient information can be accessed from multiple locations with password-protected security, and doctors’ orders can be queued in sequence to match the importance of the procedure to patient care.
Electronic medical records contain a vast array of information that can be analyzed and monitored in digital form much more readily than paper records. Health care facility officials review the records regularly for compliance with all regulations and medical protocols, to monitor trends in resource usage and patient care patterns and to look for ways to improve patient care throughout the facility. People should be able to get better quality of care due to the amount of information on hand from every available and viable medical source. Give faster and more efficient diagnosis and treatments for patients.
More convenient data trail; paperwork can often go uncompleted but electronically stored is faster and easier therefore it gets done effectively. When medical audits take place all information is readily available making workflow and procedures faster and smoother. The overall benefits that the electronic medical records provides doctors and patients worldwide. The system can Reduce and/ or eliminate the use of paper it can also allows all practitioners to see and update relevant patient data, reduces errors in transcription of paper records from one department to another and should speed the delivery of patient services.
EMR technology can make storing and sharing information easier and more efficient not to mention convenient, it should help lessen and/or avoid duplication of testing, prescribing medicines that in combination might be dangerous or seems not to help, and the ability for anyone on the medical team to understand the approaches taken to a condition. Despite the growing literature on benefits of various EHR functionalities, some opponents have identified potential disadvantages associated with this technology. These
include financial issues, changes in workflow, temporary loss of productivity associated with EHR adoption, privacy and security concerns, and several unintended consequences. Financial issues, including adoption and implementation costs, ongoing maintenance costs, loss of revenue associated with temporary loss of productivity, and declines in revenue, present a disincentive for hospitals and physicians to adopt and implement an EHR. EHR adoption and implementation costs include purchasing and installing hardware and software, converting paper charts to electronic ones, and training end-users.
Training people to learn and use the new system and understand the capabilities of this technology. Making sure that the technology is integrated with widely used systems and computer software with ease. The maintenance cost of an EHR can also be costly. Hardware must be replaced and software must be upgraded on a regular basis. In addition, providers must have ongoing training and support for the end-users of an HER. There are some security matters, which include keeping the information safe from hackers. Privacy and confidentiality of records, such as who should and/or could have access to the important data.
The risk of patient privacy violations, which is an increasing concern for patients due to the increasing amount of health information exchanged electronically. To relieve some of these concerns, policymakers have taken measures to ensure safety and privacy of patient data. For example, recent legislation has imposed regulations specifically relating to the electronic exchange of health information that strengthen existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security policies. In this paper we discussed several advantages and disadvantages associated with an EHR adoption.
Many of the benefits accrue to patients and society overall. Providers and other users are also expected to face technological and logistical obstacles on their quest to achieve meaningful use of EHRs. Electronic Medical Record provides easy access and improves quality of care and patient safety. We have the advantages and disadvantages to both paper medical record and electronic medical record. Healthcare providers must first obtain information and carefully review the positive and negative aspects of it. Through this technology today, EMR can transform healthcare delivery in the United States and worldwide.
Nationwide implementation of EHRs is a necessary, although not sufficient, part in transforming the US health care system for the better. EHR adoption must be considered one of many approaches that diversify our focus on quality improvement and cost reduction. Works Cited Menachemi, N. , & Collum, T. Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270933/ Schloeffel, Peter, et al. “Background and Overview of the Good Electronic Health Record. ” May 2001. Retrieved from http://www. gehr. org/Documents/BackgroundOverview_of_GEHR. htm
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