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Electronic Health Records Essays

The primary focus of any organization is communication. Every organization has struggles with, areas of opportunity with, and plans on how to improve communication. Communication is a cornerstone that when properly used drastically increases effectiveness. Electronic medical records are still partially new to the medical field but will increase the effectiveness and speed in which healthcare providers communicate with each other.
Benefits
According to Awokola, Abioye-Kuteyi, Otoru, Oyegbade, Awokola, Awokola, & Ezeoma (2012) “It is widely accepted that EMRs are superior to paper based records. This is mainly attributed to the non-availability of “multiple access” to paper records i. e. only one person or one group of people can access one paper case note per unit time. Also, natural elements easily affect paper, for example, water, fire, wind and sunlight. ” Additional to the benefits of electronic records not being susceptible to the elements they are also more efficient over paper charts and easier to access.
This also allows information to be shared faster with others. For instance if a patient sees a specialist for a consultation the information can be pulled up by the primary care physician as soon as it is entered into the patient’s record. Lastly emergency services can pull up information such as known drug allergies on patients when they are not conscious and therefore avoid potential issues that would have otherwise not been avoided. Safety Personal information needs to be maintained to uphold patient privacy.
According to Lea, Austin, Hailes, & Kalra (2009) “The issue of data protection has become increasingly pertinent in recent years as national initiatives have started to support greater storage and sharing of private medical information between care teams, researchers and legislators. ” Identity theft is a real cause for alarm and concern as protecting patient data is paramount. Following local laws while upholding HIPPA is just the basic guidelines that any practice or organization should follow.
Additionally security measures must be implemented to ensure as many precautions are taken as possible. Effectiveness Electronic medical records are quicker than paper records in almost all ways. This includes updating information, pulling up patient information, and making notations. Additionally information can be pulled up at any site in which has access to the EMR system being used by that organization or that particular patient. One somewhat newer method in which EMR systems have decreased wait times for patients is through electronic prescriptions.
A prescription can now be e-faxed or electronically transmitted to the pharmacy which increases the effectiveness and speed that the prescription is filled. This is possible through digital signatures. According to Chen, & Lin (2011) “Digital signatures are valid to be used in private communication on the basis of an agreement among all related parties. All specific digital contents are capable of being encrypted and decrypted to ensure their integrity and nonrepudiation. Additionally a healthcare provided can skim through a patient’s past pertinent information quicker than flipping through the paper records of the past. Social Networks With so many different social sites available to any types of organization health care is no different they can take advantage of this to help grow their business as well as get important information out to their patients. Most organization have a website which to attract their patients or future patients to and they have created Facebook and linked in accounts to make their businesses know.
Patients are able to go to these sites and get information that is important about the practice or facility. If organization has a Facebook page for their business other patients may be able to communicate with one another and find out if they had similar visits or problems with a visit and if the doctor is running a certain way perhaps patients will be able to leave suggestions and comments for the organization that can make their business better both for the patients’ as well as the overall practice.
With the organization having a website they are able to let the patients know if they offer any products or certain services they are able to list the price of the products they offer as well as allow the patients to order them instead of waiting until they get into the office. The patient could also set up their own appointments and fill out any new or updated information about themselves that the health care organization may need for this visit or future visits.
Conclusion
Electronic Health/Medical Records are a key component in healthcare communication. There are many benefits to EHRs and EMRs and with those benefits there are security risks that need handles properly. Overall effectiveness and productivity will increase while patient wait time decreases. While EMRs are not directly linked to social networking these sites provide a benefit to patients and there is a possibility of eventually linking limited information to these so that potential new providers are contacted with patient data.
References
Awokola, B., Abioye-Kuteyi, E., Otoru, O., Oyegbade, O., Awokola, E., Awokola, O., & Ezeoma, I. (2012). Practical Challenges of Setting Up an Electronic Medical Record System in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital: The Wesley Guild Hospital Experience. Middle East Journal Of Family Medicine, 10(2), 37-42. Chen, T., & Lin, F. (2011). Electronic medical archives: a different approach to applying re-signing mechanisms to digital signatures. Journal Of Medical Systems, 35(4), 735-742. Lea, N. C., Austin, T., Hailes, S., & Kalra, D. (2009). Expression of Security Policy in Medical Systems for Electronic Healthcare Records. Proceedings Of World Academy Of Science: Engineering & Technology, 53711-715.

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