Electronic Health Records, Research Paper.
Electronic Health Records, Research Paper.
Review the history of electronic health records (EHRs) and discuss the pros and cons of EHR systems. How do EHRs help maintain accurate patient records? Which types are available to the health community? What are the ethical considerations needed when using EHRs? Support your responses with scholarly research. Use the Internet and the WCU online library databases to research peer-reviewed articles on EHRs.
Electronic Health Record
Most healthcare providers, like hospitals and clinics, currently have a longitudinal electronic version of Patients’ historical health information – electronic health records. The information which is typically collected, gathered, created, or stored by any health services delivery settings plays critical roles in patients’ treatment. Typically, clinician only collects vital and quantifiable medical information about patients that can be used for either diagnosis and investigation of the epidemiological data. This information includes patients’ demographics, progress notes, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunization, laboratory data, and radiology reports (Seymour, Frantsvog, & Graeber, 2012). Therefore, clinicians and the general public – patients – should be acquainted with the electronic version of health records. Hence, this research provides a brief history of electronic health records, cons, and pros, different types of electronic health records that are in use, accuracy, and ethical concerns to be put into considerations.
History of Electronic Health Record
Before the 1960s, medical information was kept on papers and in a manual filing system. information such as diagnoses, laboratory reports, visit notes, and medication directions were written and kept on a paper and labeled using patients’ personal information like their names. From there, different parties have invested in the development of electronic health records, which can be divided into two periods; early efforts that commenced between the 1960s and 1970s with the first electronic systems known as clinical information systems were developed by Lockheed (Davis & Smith, 2016). Other systems later followed this development since it swayed them due to its speed and flexibility that allowed many users. Then, there was the development of a clinical decision support system at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1968 (Davis & Smith, 2016).
Consequently, the recent development came up like in 2000, when the Institute of Medicine pooled resources in the development of a standard electronic organization. It ensured that components of electronic health records interconnected efficiently hence its development. Then in 2010, the EHR ventured fully into a paperless system.
The Pros and Cons of Electronic Health Record
Electronic health record plays a vital role in terms of quality service delivery hence making it more advantageous. These benefits can be viewed in terms of clinical outcomes were there an enhancement in quality of health care services, a decline in medical errors, improvement of patient-level care that defines suitability (Menachemi & Collum, 2011). Additionally, there is an organizational outcome that includes financial and functional performance and satisfaction to both patients and clinicians. Moreover, societal advantage aims at improving population health. However, there are some parallel disadvantages of electronic health record that include: financial issues like the adoption and maintenance cost, Changes in a workflow where the medical providers – clinicians and physicians – are disrupted hence low efficiency, and the risk of a possible violation of confidentiality (Menachemi & Collum, 2011).
Therefore, as much there are disadvantages, there are potential benefits that ensure the improvement of health care systems.
Although electronic health record’s advantages surpass the disadvantages in terms of benefits, inaccuracy and incompetence are recurrent happening negligence (Hong, Kaur, Farrokhyar & Thoma, 2015). The inaccuracy is, however, mainly due to the ignorance of the operators of the system.
Types of Electronic Health Records
Generally, healthcare providers decide on the type of electronic health records, depending on the complexity of the services and financial status. Majorly, the electronic health records are categorized into two types, namely, server-based and cloud-based electronic health records. A server-based electronic health record is an entirely localized network where everything is kept in a house with all the software. The physicians are, therefore, able to access the database in the office. On the other hand, cloud-based electronic health records are where the operational programs and records are stored on remote servers and operated by the third party. Therefore, the two types are available for use. However, they used different systems and software for operation.
Ethical Considerations in Using Electronic Health Records
Physicians, clinicians, and patients need to take acute care of all the ethical considerations that are falling under health records. Therefore, the operators should take into account considerations such as potential benefits, privacy and confidentiality, security breaches, system implementations, and data inaccuracy (Ozair, Jamshed, Sharma & Aggarwal, 2015). For instance, any inaccuracy in data entry is ethically unacceptable since it increases the risk for patients’ responsibility to clinicians. Additionally, it is unethical to leak any information or allow the third party to access the patients’ information without their consent.
In conclusion, clinicians and the general public – patients- should be acquainted and well conversant with electronic health records. Therefore, they should understand the history, weigh between its advantages and the disadvantages, evaluate its accuracy, and consequently choose the best type of electronic health records. Most importantly, the concerned parties – clinicians and patients – should appreciate the ethical considerations while using ethical issues. It can hence be concluded that despite the disadvantages, the electronic health records play a crucial role in health care settings.
Seymour, T., Frantsvog, D., & Graeber, T. (2012). Electronic health records (EHR). American Journal of Health Sciences (AJHS), 3(3), 201-210.
Davis, K. A., & Smith, L. B. (2016). Ethical considerations about EHR-mediated results disclosure and pathology information presented via patient portals. AMA journal of ethics, 18(8), 826-832.
Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H. (2011). Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk management and healthcare policy, 4, 47.
Hong, C. J., Kaur, M. N., Farrokhyar, F., & Thoma, A. (2015). Accuracy and completeness of electronic medical records obtained from referring physicians in a Hamilton, Ontario, plastic surgery practice: a prospective feasibility study. Plastic Surgery, 23(1), 48-50.
Ozair, F. F., Jamshed, N., Sharma, A., & Aggarwal, P. (2015). Ethical issues in electronic health records: A general overview. Perspectives in clinical research, 6(2), 73.