Electronic Health Record Transition Paper

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How will the transition to an electronic health record impact patient safety and quality patient care? It was The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 being signed into law as part of a stimulus package, that started the big push for the use of electronic health records (EHRs). This initiative has been the largest initiative in the US designed to help keep American health care providers delivering higher quality of care to their patients in this computerized world we live in today. Two main areas of concern are patient safety and quality of care the patient receives.

One huge point in favor of EHRs is being able to access computerized records quickly (in real time) and efficiently. Simply the access to different diagnostic tools like radiology reports, lab tests, and past medical history reports of any sort, without searching through paper they can’t even read due to poor penmanship, improves the
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HITECH laid out a broad blanket of requirements. There are safety concerns with the electronic systems not all being the same format. Problems with one hospitals form not matching what the follow up physician’s form needs can cause miscommunication and a possible harm to the patient. As these systems become more available and widely used it will become easier for hackers to cause problems not only in one medical facility but since many systems could be linked together the problem could be wide spread across a whole community. These are a couple of examples that could cause harm to a patient in some form.

When every other part of the world is moving to improve their work flow by converting to computerized systems Americas Health system needs to do the same. Any step toward better health care for any condition is a step in the right direction. EHR’s are just one step of many technology has and will continue to improve our medical
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