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Electronic Medical Records

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Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

Edith Ellison Griffin

University of Phoenix Graduate Study Program


Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

Nearly every industry, from banking to retailing, keeps their most sensitive and vital records electronically. So, if you're vacationing in London and want to know the balance in your California- based bank account, you simply check it at the next ATM machine you find.

However going to see a specialist right down the hall from your primary care physician office you'll be handed a paper chart to carry with you, the irony of this is, the paper chart probably won't contain details of your visit to a different specialist for the same problem. So you better hope you can remember the pertinent details of that visit to relay to your new doctor.

Examine Need Purpose Change

Under the current system of care in the United States, when a person shows up at a clinic or hospital for treatment, it is most likely that the health care provider will have very little information about him or her and will have at best, only limited tools to track how other providers treated them in the past. According to the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 patients die in U.S. hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors, such as receiving a wrong medication. The most common error found involved multiple physicians treating the same patient without having access to all the patient's medical records. This system failure is connected to a lack of reliable health information (Leibel, 2012).

In contrast, Lewis (2009) indicates integrated EMR gives clinicians information they didn't have before. If someone was brought into the emergency department unconscious, it's extremely helpful to know from the EMR that this same patient presented at his primary care practice 2 days earlier and received a head computed tomography (CT).

With EMR, the clinician can look for those results and not waste valuable time or resources getting another CT unless deem necessary to do so. Without EMR, the team wouldn't have known this patient had been seen in our system before (Leibel, 2009).

Examine Organizational and Individual Barriers

Despite EMR's importance there are some challenges that must be considered when discussing the implementation process. Barriers to adoption include implementation cost, lack of standardization, and concerns about privacy, to name few. There are many vendors to choose from but programs do not come in "one size fits all" packets. Different computer software and hardware program products are not tailored to meet specific needs of all physicians. This type of customization requires the physician's input. Customization can have its disadvantage because the cost is higher and more time must be spent for the implementation team and the healthcare provider to understand the workflow needs (Lewis, 2009).

Individual barriers to change may result from lack of knowledge of information technology and its applications. For instance, older employees that may not be technologically savvy and trained in current application of information technology tools and relevant material and equipment they may find it very difficult to initiate and implement the necessary changes.

Other barriers are organizational cost, confidentiality, and security issues, along with privacy concern in healthcare system. . This applies to electronic records. They can be viewed over the internet in which pose security concerns. Although Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) were passed in US in 1996; govern the standards regarding electronic medical records in healthcare (Lewis, 2009).

Identify Factors That Might Influence Change

In terms, of quality, Electronic Medical Records promises reduction in medical mistakes, thereby improving patient safety. It will help physicians in better disease prevention and more efficient management of chronic disease. The aforementioned improvements will lead to an overall reduction in healthcare cost and just as important more effective and efficient use of health care dollars, which could potentially drive down the cost of health care. EMR represents a departure from the traditional paper record. Patient demographics, medical histories, and all records of past and current treatment will be stored in a computerized format. When coupled with network systems and the internet, the EMR platform offers increased versatility in terms of transferability of information, greater communication among doctors, and improvements



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