Electronic Health Records ( Ehr ) Systems

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We live in a world of computers, tablets, smartphones, and social media. Digital technology is so thoroughly merged into our everyday lives that being less connected is nearly unthinkable. But how has this digital revolution affected the way we conduct health care?

We are in the centre of a nationwide integration of digital technology and health delivery via the electronic health record (EHR). It is hoped that we will have a nationwide EHR system within the next decade.

The History of EHR

In the past, medical data was only stored on paper, making it difficult for individual’s health care providers to share their information. Electronic health records (EHR) systems have been in use since the 1960 's and were established in response to physicians concerns that, due to the rising complexity of medical care, in critical situations patient information might not be fully accessible.

A University of New South Wales research has recognised six quality and safety issues relating to the use of paper records;

1) Limited access to patient records
2) Inefficient documentation of patient records
3) Breached patient privacy (due to insecure storage and disposal of patient records and cases of mistaken identity)
4) Incomplete and inaccurate health records
5) Incorrect prescription and medicine dosage (due to lack of prescriber awareness of existing medical conditions, current medicines use or allergies)
6) Repeated consumer questions to different providers.

In Europe, the United
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