Health information technology can be best described as the point where information science, medicine, and healthcare all meet. The foundation of healthcare delivery consists of three major elements: cost, access, and quality. The U.S. government reportedly “hopes most Americans have electronic health records by 2014” (Ramachandran, 2013) .It is my proposal to upgrade to a current, cutting-edge health information management system in our office. Potential Benefits to the Practice
Private practices are not a thing of the past. According to the AMA’s recent survey,”53.2% of physicians were self-employed in 2012, 41.8% were employed and 5% were independent contractors” (Robeznieks, 2013). Keeping that in mind, I have listed a few of the potential benefits of HIT to our practice: •Increased access to care – Having patient records stored electronically is in many cases, distance becomes irrelevant when consulting with a physician or the practice. For the patients that are out of the country or simply in another town, we can access their medical records and help them over the phone or allow other physicians access to their records at the patient’s request. •Allows for faster diagnosis when knowing the patient’s medical history and prescription history.
Could possibly mean the difference between life and death. •Allows for a patient to record health information they measure at home, i.e. blood pressure, pulse, weight, blood glucose levels. This updated information can be used by the practice to keep tabs on patients for future visits or the need to schedule a visit. Potential Benefits to Staff
In an online article written by Ken Terry, he stated that “41% of those who don’t have online access to records would consider switching physicians to obtain it” (Terry, 2013). Therefore, we need to look at other aspects that will benefit our staff in the long run. •Time equals money. Staff will spend less time retrieving, finding and filing patient charts. Now they can enter a patient’s name into the system and all their information will populate the screen. •Less money will be spent through the elimination of a transcription service as well as the transferring and transporting of patient charts. •Automated billing and accounting
As one consulting company I spoke with stated, “understanding that one of the most important factors in a successful implementation is the quality of user training that takes place prior to the system activation” (Coastal Healthcare Consulting Inc., 2013). Due to the fact that we are a small practice, it will benefit everyone who has any contact with patients will be included in the training. Challenges with Implementing a New System
•Over reliance on the accuracy of EMRs may lead to significant errors if a patient record contains false information. •Privacy and security risks due to hackers can include: identity theft, unauthorized access and corruption of patient data. •The cost of the equipment as well as the training that needs to be done. According to the Congressional Budget Office report written back in 2008 stated, “No aspect of health IT entails as much uncertainty as the magnitude of its potential benefits” (Devon M. Herrick, 2010). Our world has been radically changed in the last 5-10 years due to digital technology. Smart phones, tablets and web-enabled devices have changed the face of health care as we know it. This is our time to get involved and bring our practice into the present and solidify our future.
Coastal Healthcare Consulting Inc. (2013). Training. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from Coastal Healthcare Consulting Inc.: http://www.coastalhealthcare.com/services/training/ Devon M. Herrick, L. G. (2010). Health Information Technology: Benefits and Problems. Dallas: NCPA. Ramachandran, V. (2013, August 15). Technology Changing Healthcare. Retrieved September 20, 2013, from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2013/08/15/healthcare-and-it-health-informatics-infographic/ Robeznieks, A. (2013, September 17). Not All Doctors Giving Up Private Practice. Retrieved September 20, 2013, from Modern Health Care.com: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130917/BLOG/309179996 Terry, K. (2013, September 17). Patients Seek More Online Access To Medical Records. Retrieved September 19, 2013, from Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/policy/patients-seek-more-online-ac