1.) Identify and describe the problem in this case.
The problem in this case is medical record keeping. About 12 percent of healthcare spending goes towards medical recordkeeping. Medical records have been kept in files and folders, which causes difficulty in accessing and sharing information. This problem could be maintained with electronic medical systems.
2.) What people organization and technology factors are responsible for the difficulties in building electronic medical record systems? Explain your answer.
Building an electronic medical record (EMR) system comes with difficulties.
These difficulties include; people, organization and technology factors. The people factor in this involves, doctors, government agencies, insurance companies, and patients.
For doctors the difficulty comes with the extended hours of training it will take for them to successfully use an EMR system. Doctors are already pressed for time and learning to successfully use an EMR system could take up to 20 hours of training. Government agencies play a big role in having a successful EMR system. The short term goal is for every medical facility to have an EMR system in place by the year 2015.
The problem comes with the long term goal, of having a fully functioning EMR system nation wide.
There are different systems that can be integrated into a medical facility, but not all of these different systems will be comparable with one another. This causes problems when it comes to nation wide accessibility. Insurance companies also play a role in EMR systems. With an EMR system claims will be able to be processed immediately. Another problem comes with people; some are worried about the confidentiality of online medical records.
The organizations that are responsible in building an EMR system include many different health technology companies. These companies have developed many different health record structures. With all of these different structures available it puts limitations on the ability to become nation wide. While, this allows for medical facilities to have different options, it may not allow for it to become nationwide.
This leads into the technology factor in building these systems. The technology within these different systems may not be compatible. Doctors and patients will have online access to there information within that facility, however it will limit what can be accessed with in other facilities. The goal is to make this work nation wide. With all of these different systems out there this is going to cause a huge barrier for this to happen.
3. What is the business, political, and social impact of not digitalizing medical records?
Not digitalizing effects, physicians, hospitals, insurers, patients, and the US government. Physicians will continue to have to thumb through paper records if they do not digitalize medical records. This allows for error and the cost of time it takes to look through paper files. Having EMR systems gives the physician all the information they need regarding a patient at their fingertips. Hospitals will be able to reduce administrative and medical record keeping costs.
With out an EMR system again errors are more likely to be made with in that hospital. Having paper files of medical records is no longer a reality. Insurers will continue to have the delay in processing claims, whereas with a digital system claims can be authorized in real-time. Patients will not be able to access medical records online and may cause error in what medications they need or are currently taking. As for the US government not digitalizing, this means continuing to have one of the highest costs for health care.
4. What is the business are social benefits of digitalizing medical record keeping?
Going to an EMR system has countless benefits. It will allow for fewer errors for doctors and patients. All of the information will be at the fingertips of doctors and patients. Having this information that quick will allow for less time being spent thumbing through papers to look up past medical conditions or proper dosage.
All the information will be right there for the doctor to see. Nothing will be overlooked because it’s at the bottom of some file, it will all just be there. In addition to this insurance claims will be processed right away. Healthcare cost could potentially be lowered because there wont be as many resources going to administrative and recordkeeping. If it becomes nationwide when people move to another state or go out of state for something, if they end up in a doctors facility all of there information is there. This allows for better more successful care for that individual.
5.) Are EMR systems a good solution to the problem of rising health care costs in the US?
Healthcare cost will always be high. There is so much research and science within this field that the costs will never be low. However, having an EMR system can diffidently help. EMR systems will help the costs of health care in some ways. It may take time initially because of the training and implementation of the system, but in the long run it will reduce the cost of administrative and recordkeeping.