Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Medical Records

2496 Words Apr 6th, 2012 10 Pages
Introduction:
There are many functions associated with patient health records. Not only is the record used to document patient care, but the record is also used for financial and legal information, and research and quality improvement purposes. Because all this information must be shared among many professionals who constitute the ‘healthcare team’” (Young 92), and there continue to be problems with the paper health record, it is becoming more apparent that developing an automated health record is very important.
The electronic health record (EHR) 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
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An EHR can decrease charting time and charting errors, therefore increasing the productivity of healthcare workers and decreasing medical errors due to illegible notes. “Reduction of medical errors is the concern of the public at large, state legislators, healthcare providers, and many other health professionals” (Waegemann et al. 11). There have been numerous stories about fatal mistakes occurring because of illegible notes written by physicians. EHRs “address a problem that has plagued medical staff very possibly since the first doctor put pencil to paper [...] (Dobias 3). Since “handwriting is instinctive, and therefore difficult to change” (Dobias 3) automated systems can help eliminate this problem. Although some systems may seem costly, the gains in efficiency far offset the costs. Chart chasing is eliminated, as is duplicate data entry of the same information on multiple forms. “Highly paid, skilled clinicians no longer are delayed by the search for elusive paper charts, and usable outcome information becomes available without several days of data compilation” (Wellen, Bouchard, and Houston 3).
Financially, the EHR will provide more accurate billing information and will allow the providers of care to submit their claims electronically, therefore receiving payment quicker. The patient is even happier, because previous information is available so the patient does not have to continue to provide the