Electronic health records, or EHRs are fully electronic forms of patients charts and health history. This has helped to keep all patient information streamlined into a specific area, as well as cut down on paper waste (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information, n.d.) Health care providers are
An Electronic Health Record is a computerized form of a patient’s medical chart. These records allow information to be readily available to authorized providers during a patient’s encounter with the healthcare system. These systems do not only contain medical histories, current medications and insurance information, they also track patients’ diagnoses, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images and lab tests/results (source). The fundamental aspect of EHRs is that they are able to share a patient’s information quickly across service lines and even between different healthcare organizations. Information is at the fingertips of lab techs, primary care physicians, pharmacies, clinics, etc. The
But with the benefits there are also the risk factors. Some disadvantages of the EHR system would include; initial cost of planning and implementing an EHR system, lack of standardization across the healthcare setting, unauthorized access to patient information (security and privacy), inaccurate patient information if not updated properly, technical downtimes, potential negligence for data loss and possible patient access to conditions that they don’t comprehend which may panic them.
There are few concerns regarding the HITECH Act that need to be addressed, such as Data breach of protected health information, EHR risk assessments and patients' electronic access to their health information, this access will allow them to view their records online, this kind of access electronic access might cause exposure to their health record online to a third party. Other concern is about the use of the electronic health records and whether it is capable of improving the quality of care and also some privacy and safety issues.
In 2009, the Health Technology for Electronic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) of 1996 was expanded. This expansion included mandated guidelines for health care systems in the Unites States to continue implementing of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in health care settings by 2016 and added a provision to improve protection of patient health information through privacy and security Turk (2015) . The implementation of this program has created a debate in the medical community. In addition, many healthcare organizations and institutions have conducted research studies and surveys to evaluate the effects of the EHR on documentation of care and other aspects of the EHR. Challenges surrounding the HER include, the cost of implementing EHR’s, time spent performing documentation, and patient outcomes and safety and security concerns. Let’s further delve into a few of these challenges.
EHRs have also changed healthcare by increasing productivity. Now health care professionals are not having to order scan or test multiple times due to results not being able to be located. One additional way that EHRs have changed the healthcare industry is by increase patient satisfactions. Patients like that their healthcare providers are easily up to date on the facts of their health information. Healthcare IT is now considered as a essential factor of a high-quality healthcare system (Wager, Lee, Glaser, 2013).
In a healthcare world that operates on stringent budgets and margins, we begin to see the need for a higher capacity healthcare delivery system. This in turn puts pressure on the healthcare organizations to ensure higher standards of patient care, and compliance with the reform provisions. However, these are the harsh realities of today’s healthcare environment, a setting in which value does not always equal quality. The use of technology can help to amend some of this by providing higher capacity care without compromising quality; this can be done with the use of such technology as electronic health records (EHRs). This paper will aim to address how EHRs influence healthcare today by expanding upon topics such as funding sources, reimbursement methods, economic factors, socioeconomic factors, business influences, and cost containment.
The ARRA includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which pursues to improve American Healthcare and patient care through an extraordinary investment in Healthcare IT (HIT). The requirements of the HITECH Act are precisely designed to work jointly to provide the necessary assistance and technical operation to providers, enable grammatical relation and organization within and among states, establish connectivity in case of emergencies, and see to it the workforce is properly trained and equipped to be meaningful users of certified Electronic Health Records (EHRs). These computer software products are designed collaboratively to intensify the footing for every American to profit from an electronic health record (EHR) as part of a modernized, interrelated, and vastly improved grouping of care delivery.
A lengthy list of EHR benefits supports the evolution from paper to electronic medical record keeping. One such benefit, the significant reduction of needed storage space. Bulky paper charts require a lot of space and misplaced charts waste time and effort to locate. Since EHR data remains on the computer, medical practices no longer require secure on-site storage, and electronic files eliminate misplacing files. Another benefit to data remaining on the computer rather than a medical chart, electronic records allow immediate access from several locations. EHRs provide emergency room personnel access to allergies and other pertinent information of unconscious patients. The on-call physician accesses patient information from their home computer, rather than driving to the medical
Getting successful universal EHR is not just technology selection, implementation question it needs to address many other aspects such as physician’s acceptance, policy/laws, incentives, security, and privacy and training issues before we can concentrate or focus on technology selection and implementations. The ecosystem should be ready with all these critical elements addressed only then successful EHR implementation can sustain in US. First and foremost there is a need to have consistency around the state/federal and HIPPA regulations which defines security and privacy issues in US. Due to conflicting requirements in these regulations mass acceptance of any medical system/technology cannot be effectively done. Second biggest issue for universal EHR adoption is the acceptance of EHR by physician’s communities. The benefits of EHR has been identified and acknowledged by medical communities at large however the rate of adoption and use after implementation is sluggish. The biggest common contributor for implementation, design and use of EHR systems is physician. Physicians should be properly trained and emphasis on continual education should also be placed through continuing education credits. Unless small physician office (stand-alone offices) buy-in the adoption of EHR no matter what technology and processes we have in place, EHR won’t be universally accepted and the entire benefit and value associated with EHR can be realized with universal acceptance of EHR. Thus need for
Giving the facts from the Real-World Case by purchasing the same EHR system as Community Hospital, physicians have confidence that they will have better control of care over their patients. In addition, they will be able to write orders, advise medications and also have the capability to get into the providers EHR systems while covering in other specific areas of the hospital. For this reason, some pros of the EHR consist of better patient care, better-quality care coordination, upgraded diagnostics and patient outcomes and the applying of a computerized physician order entry; this allows in the decrease of transcript mistakes related to poor writing on behalf of the physicians for either procedures or prescriptions. (HealthIT, 2015) Regrettably, there is also a downside, as not all areas of the hospital, such as the Physical Therapy unit, Nurse’s station and Nutrition department are ready to engage with the new technology.
There are certainly diverse reviews from staff and practitioners alike on the advantages and challenges of electronic health records (EHR). The transition from paper to EHR is involved and perplexing. There are many incentives, both from a financial and production perspective, but the route to implementation of an EHR system can be daunting to a hospital or practice group. Both staff and patients can be effected, both positively and negatively. As you stated in your post, physicians will not be obligated to wait for patient charts or outside records and reports. A physician can simply log in and all the information is readily available to him. But many physicians, staff and patients have become cumbersome. The transition to EHR has required
The transformation of health care through the use of Health Information Technology continued with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which mandated the integration of physician quality reporting and Electronic Health Record reporting. This Act required the creation of measures and reporting of the “meaningful use of the electronic health record” and “quality of care furnished to an individual.” In doing so, the law directly links the adoption of the electronic health record with quality of care to the patient. This entails coordination which the Act requires the use of electronic health
Electronic health records (EHR’s) have many advantages, but there are plenty of disadvantages. EHR’s were created to manage the many aspects of healthcare information. Medical professionals use them daily and most would feel lost without it. Healthcare organizations were encouraged to adopt EHR’s in 2009 due to the fact that a bill passed known as The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). “The HITECH Act outlines criteria to achieve “meaningful use” of certified electronic records. These criteria must be met in order for providers to receive financial incentives to promote adoption of EHRs as an integral part of their daily practice”, (Conrad, Hanson, Hasenau & Stocker-Schneider, 2012).
Another big plus of the EHRs is that studies have shown that it has helped providers improve accuracy of diagnoses and health outcomes (Couch, 2008). For example, nurses could have reliable access to patients complete health information and have pictures which would help with whatever problem they might encounter. EHR doesn’t just keep patients medications and allergies, it also check for problems whenever a new medication is prescribed and it also alerts the nurse of potential problems (Couch, 2008). EHRs can also tell the nurse if potential safety problems occur, which helps them avoid more serious consequences for patients, which can lead to better outcomes. The EHRs can also help nurses quickly identify and correct operational problems, which compared to the paper-based setting, those kinds of problems would be more difficult to correct. It can also help