Adoption of the Electronic Health Records – Health System Example

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"Adoption of the Electronic Health Records" is an excellent example of a paper on the health system. ANIA list is an online platform where topical issues in American nursing practice are debated. One area of concern is the application of electronic health records (EHR). The concept of electronic health records sometimes referred to as the electronic medical records or electronic patient records, involves digitization of all the patient records in the nursing system, and phasing out the analog and manual paper-file system (Evans, 2006). It is a policy issue of the administration of President Obama.

Stakeholders in the nursing sector have responded to the Electronic health records idea differently. There are those who see it as the most efficient way of having a comprehensive patient database. Others think it is an overambitious policy with a lot of cost concerns. Electronic health records as intended by the policy thinkers of President Obama’ s administration was meant to accurately capture the condition of the patient at all times. It makes it possible to view the medical history of a patient much more easily than having to go through huge volumes of paperwork.

It provides for just one modifiable file, thus eliminating the chances of replicating the patient’ s data. The fact that information is kept in a single file makes patient data extraction effective. There is no case of lost paperwork or forms. Digitization of patient records makes it possible to use patient information over networks that are secure. It is also easy to track care and outcomes. For instance, one is able to track prescriptions and their outcomes. The information can be moved electronically between medical facilities.

The sharing of laboratory results with providers is also made possible. Most recent studies indicate that electronic health records are likely to improve the quality of healthcare. It would greatly improve the coordination of care. However, there are concerns about the security of patient data and privacy. Cost is another area of concern. There is a section of stakeholders who opine that networking of patient information exposes it to hacking. Hacking of information means that the information goes to third parties and that infringes on the patients’ inalienable right to privacy (Mendelson, 2004).

There is also the threat of technology failure by way of the server machines crashing, which renders the information stored in it lost. The concern about cost is that the adoption of electronic health records will cost the taxpayer billions of dollars. It is an expensive project. Meaningful use The meaningful use of the electronic health records system encompasses a number of issues. It involves its use in a manner that is meaningful. E-prescribing is one way of achieving that. A certified electronic health records technology should be aimed at improving healthcare quality.

In short, the use of certified electronic health records should be quantifiable and consider quality.   It should be measurable in terms of quality and quantity. The application of electronic health records by the United States government categorizes meaningful use in a number of ways. One category of meaningful use as intended by the US government incentives is the improvement of care coordination. Another category is the reduction of disparities in the healthcare sector. The third category of meaningful use is that it should help public health and the population.

Lastly, the electronic health records should guarantee maximum data security and privacy (Mendelson, 2004).

References

Evans, D., Nichol, W. & B. (2006). Effect of the implementation of an enterprise-wide Electronic Health Record on productivity in the Veterans Health Administration. Health Economics, Policy and Law 1 (2), 163–9

Mendelson, D (2004). Electronic Health Records: Interoperability Challenges and Patient's Right for Privacy. New York: HarperCollins

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