Electronic Health Records ( Ehr ) And The American Recovery Reinvestment Act

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Introduction With the advent of electronic health records (EHR’s) and The American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, electronic health records have become main stream and a requirement for healthcare providers who treat Medicaid and Medicare patients. An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart (Health IT, n.d.). EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. A portion of ARRA provides reimbursements to providers that have EHR’s that are certified for meaningful use. Certified EHR’s meet meaningful use requirements by meeting the government the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH)…show more content…
Today, the patient will visit the same doctor and the doctor will enter the data into a tablet or pc. The EHR is a designed very similar to the paper chart, but is programmed to collect and segregate the information in different formats to transmit securely to the necessary partners. Those partners include insurance carriers, public health entities, clearinghouses, laboratories, and pharmacist. This data is collected and stored on secure servers. In most EHR’s today, a doctor who has a private practice, and maybe affiliated with a hospital has the ability to allow the hospital to access a patient’s record, if that patient has agreed to release their information to the hospitals. So if the patient is taken to the local hospital, the hospital can have access to the patient’s records if an authorization is in place. The EHR will not only collect the patient medical information, it will track the medical information. Providers are required to secure the information and track the medical records activity via a built-in audit system that will show the medical records history and the name of all parties that access the patient’s records. Poor EHR system design and improper use can cause EHR-related errors that jeopardize the integrity of the information in the EHR, leading to errors that endanger patient safety or decrease the quality of care. These unintended consequences also may increase fraud and abuse and can have
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