Implementation of Electronic Medical Records Essay

Introduction

Information technology has recently become one of the most reliable technologies in efficient service delivery. Implementation of the system within health sector is viewed as a move in reducing medical errors, hence promoting patient safety as well as reducing costs. However, implementation of the new models requires variety of measurable elements capable of creating an impact on patient safety initiatives (Borkowski, 2009).

Proposal on Implementation of EMR

Electronic Medical Records are associated with many functions within the health care system. Patient health records contain important information, such as patient health care, financial breakdown, legal information as well as detailed research and quality improvement cases.

Such information is always necessary within the medical field, hence it needs to be shared amongst many professional medics within the health care field. Such demand makes it a little cumbersome to use paper health records calling for the development of an automated health recording system.

Electronic Medical Record will provide chances for improving quality of care and patient safety within health organizations. The system will help in providing solution to the challenge of dealing with integrated healthcare delivery by providing detailed, reliable and accessible timely information on patient health status across the medical field whether in primary or secondary health care.

The EMR will reduce the costs on keeping paper records as well as decreasing inefficiencies within health care sector. The EMR has got increased storage capabilities enabling data to be stored from any region and for longer periods of time, enabling instant retrieval of information to many people even in remote sites (Young, 200, p 99).

The idea on fragmentation of clinical records posed by paper records will be minimized hence reducing costs, which could have been otherwise incurred on current and future patient care (Schloeffel, 2001, p 1). The built-in intelligence capabilities of the EMR system will assist in recognizing abnormal laboratory results. The system provides efficient access to protocols, care plans, critical paths and other databases on healthcare knowledge such as pharmaceutical information (Borkowski, 2009).

Start-up costs might be of disadvantage to many since it can be excessive at times. Allocation of capital to information system provides added costs on health care expenditure. Another disadvantage is that it requires substantial technical knowledge for the system to be used efficiently. This calls for all the physicians and clinicians to have prior knowledge on the system operation for purposes of realizing benefits of interactive on-line decision support (Borkowski, 2009).

Proposal on Implementation of CPOE

Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) presents one of the point-of-care products which will help in playing the key role in dealing with the cases concerning patient safety objectives.

The system involves electronic communication of orders as well as detailed protocol for checking against drug references and other medical information. CPOE is physician-focused and will help in the issues of developing fewer medication transcription as well as order errors. The tool will help most physicians in selecting correct medication and therapies for each patient.

The equipment’s ability to customize ordering processes will assist in easy identification of physician needs and most importantly allow for prevention of problem occurrence by counter checking errors before completion of any order. The tracking system involved in this technology will help clinicians and physicians to evaluate their actions and compare to those of their peers in addition to comparing treatment recommendations within the given standards and guidelines (Borkowski, 2009).

However, the CPOE may not be effective on its own until it is integrated together with other crucial clinical information systems. Another disadvantage is that there is still possibility of incurring errors within the system owing to the natural assumption that computers are always right.

There are also multiple steps involved in operating multiple screens required for completion of order signing. This proves to be time-consuming when used by many people is at the same time. Frequent computer access might not be possible, especially in cases where only few computer stations are available in spite of many users (Borkowski, 2009).

Changes within organizations normally occur either as planned or unplanned. Planned changes are known to arise from either single or series of changes linked to organization goals and objectives. While unplanned changes normally arise as a result of the unexpected uncertainties within the organization.

Various changes are required for the purposes of incorporating the modern computerized equipment with the work environment. The change undergoes three environmental stages including; societal environment, task environment then finally internal environment. Within the societal environment, EMR technology will have to be approved by the legal authorities within the government by looking at its technological and economical impacts within the health sector (Borkowski, 2009).

Technologically the equipment has the capability of speeding up the recording on individual health matters as well as ability to store large amount of data and sharing it over wide area within the shortest time possible. It saves on costs since it makes health records available within reach of medical practitioners and patients.

The socio-cultural forces which tend to oppose the nature of the records in exposing patients medical records to the public would be dealt with by promising confidentiality to the patients’ medical information through the use of specified passwords.

Only the patients and trusted medics would be allowed to use the specified password whenever they want to access the patient’s medical information for the purposes of further treatment. Legal acts like the HIPAA would be enforced to ensure that tough measures, including fines are imposed on those trying to misuse individual’s medical records discriminatorily. In some places, employers use medical records to discriminate individuals on employment opportunities (Borkowski, 2009).

The task environment includes several players such as employees, special interest groups, competitors, customers amongst others. Dealing with competitors will call for marketing the superior abilities and qualities of the technology. Employees would be placed on thorough training on how to use the equipment confidentially without loosing on the confidence of the patients concerning their medical records. Suppliers would be endowed with the task of working with computer specialists for the purposes of EMR installations.

Internal forces related to the structures, processes as well as resources within the organizations which at times lead to low profit margins could be addressed by ensuring the efficiency of the equipment through delivery. This could save on costs required for the storage of large amount of documents; the technology would as well confine all medical data to one source making it easier for services to be delivered without fragmented processes (Borkowski, 2009).

Some of the challenges involved include such cases as lack of autonomy, especially in the process when patient’s data is shared amongst health care providers without informing the patient. The exposure of patient’s data does not guarantee fidelity in any way since it can be stolen by unknown parties. This could easily lead to compromised treatment within the society since patients may be overwhelmed by fear of exposure.

Conflicts arise within the medical ethical principles concerning safety of patient health records. There is a breach on confidentiality and right to privacy on the side of the patients. Hence patients can easily be discriminated within the market place as mentioned earlier in the article (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1998).

Computer-based Electronic Health Records presents one of the technological advances within health care system. Such technology is of great benefit in health sector since it has helped in improving the level of access and quality at affordable costs.

On the same note, computerized system will help in providing accurate information on billing hence allowing medics to forward any payment claims electronically. This would ensure timely and efficient payment to health care providers. It would save the patient hectic time, which might arise in providing information over and over whenever they seek medical attention (Lohr, 2007).

The use of computerized medical systems enables improvement on the quality of care provided and also guarantees reduction in medical errors. There is improvement in the level of efficiency and reduction in medical costs since the methods enable easy coordination between health care providers on patient’s care. The system would enable smooth transfer of information, eliminating the possibilities which had earlier been experienced in duplication of health information by the third parties (Hartzband and Groopman, 2008).

References

Borkowski, Nancy. (2009). Organizational Behavior, Theory, and Design in Health Care. NY: Jones & Bartlett Ppublishers.

Hartzband, P. & Groopman, J. (2008). Avoiding the Pitfalls of Going Electronic? New England Journal of Medicine, (358), 1656-1658.

Lohr, S. (2007, June 11). Risks and Rewards; Who Pays for Efficiency. New York Times. Web.

Schloeffel, P. (2001). Background and Overview of the Good Electronic Health Record. Retrieved from http://www.gehr.org/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1998). Security and Electronic Signature Standards; Proposed Rule. The Federal Register, 45 (142).

Young, K. M. (2000). Informatics for Healthcare Professionals. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Implementation of Electronic Medical Records

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