The Electronic Healthcare Record System Essay: Research Paper

Free Essay on Electronic Health Records Introduction
Over the years, digital development has transformed various sectors and industries throughout the world and the healthcare system has not been an exception. Now, healthcare providers are heavily relying on information systems and technology for the management of patient records in order to provide a good service. At present it is quite common to encounter an electronic health record (EHR) system in virtually all hospitals and healthcare centers. An electronic healthcare record is an integration of patient health data after one or several health care service visits. It basically contains information about patient health history, demographics, medications, laboratory results and tests, and progress reports. Therefore, when utilizing a health record system, a medical practitioner will be able to generate a patient’s medical history report that will assist him or her in the diagnostic process. An electronic health record generates a holistic and comprehensive medical report and can be accessed by all healthcare organizations as the information is securely shared among authorized personnel. Thus, this paper is an examination of the challenges of the EHR systems and an appreciation of the planning and implementation aspects of EHRs.
Without a doubt the EHR system presents numerous advantages to the health sector. Nevertheless, it is not a perfect system as it presents a number of challenges. To begin with, healthcare providers claim that the EHR system decreases efficiency as it may lack a user friendly interface and thus becomes time consuming. Providers insist the system adds more time as physicians and healthcare practitioners battle with system use and data entry. Nonetheless, health information management professionals work tireless to improve the EHR system interface and train the practitioners in order to ensure proper and efficient usability of the system (Zandieh, & Yoon-Flannery et al., 2008, p.755).
Secondly, there exists the possibility or erroneous data being entered into the EHR system. This is further propagated by the drop down menu list of the EHR system and a lack of a proper audit system within the organization. Undoubtedly, garbage in equals garbage out and as such erroneous data can be carried forward within the system thus creating a problem in the future. Indeed, this is a realistic and vital concern. However, it is a challenge that can be surpassed through the creation of better systems that reduce the occurrence of errors. In addition, health information management professionals, and other users of the EHR system, are mandated with the duty of ensuring that data is properly checked before being entered into the system. Physicians are urged to counter check the data being entered before updating the record in order to mitigate any problems related to erroneous data (Hersh, 2004, p.227).
Lastly, physicians feel that the EHR disrupt the traditional doctor-patient relationship and interaction. They insist that a physician must pay full attention to the patient during a diagnostic and examination process and thus an electronic system is a disruption to this system. This is, indeed, a great challenge because, and in as much as a physician is supposed to enter data into the system, he or she must also concentrate the patient he or she is attending to. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the health information system professionals to create a simple system that will enable the physician to enter data efficiently and appropriately without disturbing his concentration or rapport with the patient (Zaroukian, 2011, p.35). .
The need for the electronic health record system stipulates that a proper planning and implementation structure must be established in order to meet the organizational needs. This structure begins with the mapping of the current state within the organization. Here, the mandated team must analyze and document the workflow of the organization. That is, it must look at how work is done in the current state. Secondly, an organization must decide on the desired workflow of a potential EHR system. This is followed by the creation of a contingency plan that will map out issues related to disaster recovery or a plan to mitigate issues that may arise during the implementation procedure. Third, an implementation plan must be outlined in order to ensure a smooth transition form the old to the new system. This will be followed by a migration plan that will outline how information will be transferred from one system to the other. Finally, the various elements must be understood in order to establish the data, such as patient demographics etc, which should be migrated into the new system. This last stage is coupled with the identification of an individual (s) who will oversee the security and privacy elements of the implementation process. In the end, this process will ensure that an organization acquires a good and relevant system that will serve them well (Terry, 2007, p. 46).
An example of an electronic health record system is the MediTouch EHR that was designed by a company called HealthFusion. This system can be acquired and installed by different organizations. Nevertheless there are advantages and disadvantages of acquiring the same EHR system for their hospitals. The greatest advantage is that patient information will be available and shareable among the practitioners thus making the diagnostic process quite easy. However, HER systems vary in prices thus it is virtually impossible for all organizations to acquire the same system. The EHS system is also supposed to allow for an electronic prescription service. However, currently, doctors cannot prescribe medicine using their devices as federal law insists that a prescription document contain the signature and stamp of the prescribing officer (Anderson, 2009, p.24).
The EHS system outlines a few technical terms. First, scanning refers to capturing the image on paper for storage in a computer system. Secondly, cold feeding means that information is entered into the system at a later time and not during a face to face dialogue with the patient. . Lastly, point of care data entry means that data is captured and entered into the system when a physician is attending to the patient (Amatayakul, 2004, p.171)
In conclusion, the physicians are trying to ensure better healthcare delivery for patients through information sharing. The diagnostic process relies heavily on past information and patient history thus an electronic system will go a long way in establishing this. However, EHS systems must be further developed in order to ensure data quality and accuracy so that data integrity can be maintained.
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Anderson, H. J. (2009). Remotely Hosted EHRS: The Pros and Cons For Clinics. Health Data Management,17.7: 24, 26, 28-30.
Hersh, W. (2004). Health care information technology: progress and barriers. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 292. (18): 227-4.
Terry, K. (2007). Implementing an EHR: Going live is no snap. Medical Economics, 84.13: 46-9.
Zandieh, S.O., & Yoon-Flannery, K., & Kuperman, G.J., & Langsam, D.J., & Hyman, D., & Kaushal, R.(2008). Challenges to EHR Implementation in Electronic- Versus Paper-based Office Practices. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 23. (6): 755–761.
Zaroukian, M. H. (2011). Driving on Main Street: The Road to Widespread Physician EHR Use. Frontiers of Health Services Management 28. (1): 35-41.