Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Medical Records – Health System Example

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"Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Medical Records" is an important example of a paper on the health system. Implementing the EHR will improve the quality of care and patient safety by providing comprehensive, relevant, reliable, and timely patient information to every member of HMOs. An EHR will be a large potential for cost savings and decreased workplace inefficiencies. Paper-based records consume a lot of space and require a constant supply of papers (Carter, 60). The EHR has a large storage capacity that can accommodate a large number of records. It comes with a large capacity that can store several patient records before the storage system is exhausted.

The EHR is also accessible from several remote sites at the same time. HMOs can access patient information from the same database simultaneously. The records are continuously updated, and the information is concurrently available to the physicians immediately. EHR eliminates fragmentation of health records experienced in paper records. Fragmentation increases the cost of information management and has an adverse effect on current and future patient care. EHR systems have intelligence capabilities that include recognizing abnormal lab results and life-threatening drug reactions.

The system can also provide medical alerts and reminders to physicians, and this will improve service delivery (Felder, Majd and Mingjun, 78). EHR systems have access to research findings, healthcare databases, and pharmaceutical information that HMOs can use to support diagnostic tests. A well designed EHR supports accountability, information collection, and dissemination to assist physicians in decision making (Garber, Monty and Anthony, 98). The EHR system allows for customized information views relevant to the needs of various specialities. Flexibility allows HMOs design and utilizes reporting formats tailored to address special needs and organize data in various ways. As a management system, the EHR can provide information to improve risk management and assessment outcomes.

An EHR will decrease the charting time and charting errors, therefore, increasing the productivity of physicians.   The productivity of physicians is affected by medical errors caused by illegible notes in paper records. These errors can become fatal due to mistakes in disease diagnostics. The EHR will provide more accurate billing information than paper records. Physicians will submit their claims electronically quickening the payment process. The systems also have disadvantages such as initial costs for setting the EHR system are high.

The system is costly to establish at a time when hospitals want to reduce costs. The system creates a substantial learning curve since it is helpful to physicians who have technical knowledge. Physicians have to learn how to retrieve information, enter dater, and use other tools provided in the system. This can be time-consuming and will reduce the efficiency of the physicians before they become proficient. Passwords and firewalls are required to prevent unauthorized access to patient information. System hackers can access personal patient information that should only be accessed by physicians.

The institutions must consider the portability of the equipment and placement of hardware. Since the implementation of EHR will change the workflow, the institution must determine those who enter data in the system (Amatayakul, and Steven, 70). EHR systems lack a standard definition of terminologies, system architecture, and indexing. Sharing HER requires the development of a standard language and a unique health identifier. The main advantages are timely and accurate access to information and large storage capacity for medical records.

The system can also be accessed by different departments simultaneously, and updates in information are propagated to all departments immediately. The system has support databases and knowledge systems that can be used to interpret diagnostics. The main disadvantages are initial costs for implementing the EHR is high and technical knowledge is required. The EHR does not have a standardized language, and the system architecture depends on the vendor.


Amatayakul, Margret, and Steven Lazarus. Electronic Health Records: Transforming Your Medical Practice. Englewood, CO: Medical Group Management Association, 2005. Print.

Carter, Jerome. Electronic Medical Records: A Guide for Clinicians and Administrators. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, 2001. Print.

Felder, Robin, Majd Alwan, and Mingjun Zhang. Systems Engineering Approach to Medical Automation. Boston: Artech House, 2008. Print.

Garber, Jeannie , Monty Gross, and Anthony Slonim. Avoiding Common Nursing Errors. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Print.

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