Current Status of the Electronic Health Records in the United States

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For years now, the healthcare system in the United States have managed patient’s health records through paper charting, this has since changed for the better with the introduction of an electronic medical record (EMR) system. This type of system has helped healthcare providers, hospitals and other ambulatory institutions extract data from a patient’s chart to help expedite clinical diagnosis and providing necessary care. Although this form of technology shows great promise, studies have shown that this system is just a foundation to the next evolution of health technology. The transformation of EMR to electronic heath record system (EHR) is the ultimate goal of the federal government. Adoption of Meaningful Use in Today’s Healthcare…show more content…
Currently only 4.4% of hospital meet a majority of the fourteen core measures of meaningful use (pg. 122). With such a slow progression to adopt an EHR system, government groups such as CMS have been encouraged by the government to provide financial incentives to providers who adopt the meaningful use requirements via EHR and those who fail to adopt may face penalties like the reduction of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements (Hebda & Czar, 2013, p.281). Benefits to EHR over Paper charting One of the primary reasons that the electronic health system exist is to allow universal access to a health records by all healthcare professionals providing care to a particular patient. In a society with a vastly growing population with increasing comorbidities and demands for sooner diagnoses; the role of the paper charting no longer meets the demands of today’s healthcare system. If for example a patient with a history of Type II diabetes was admitted to the ER, the presence of his records through an EHR system can confirm that is he has had uncontrolled diabetes for some years now and fast interventions can be initiated to provide optimal care. This system provides an updated and accurate snapshot of a patient’s health history, most importantly this type of communication is a key element in emergent situations when a patient finds themselves

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