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Electronic Health Records

Running Head: ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS 1

Electronic Health Records 2

Electronic Health Records

University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences IPE7400B900: Healthcare Informatics and Technology Management

Health is a very critical part of human life that signifies the absence of illness. The goal of every country is to provide the best healthcare services for all citizens to promote health and improve lives. Many countries have had various problems in relation to the prioritization of health for its citizens. This has called for more fund allocation into research to establish better ways of attaining better health and solving chronic diseases. This brings the burden of medical care to be high for a country especially the developing countries which have had many mortality rates due to insufficient funds for the research. This calls for better equipping of the health sector in a way that could reduce of research expense. The electronic health record is one of the major successes in the health sector. This is because the discovery and development have made information readily available and accessible which enables the researchers to carry out research with minimal funds and at shorter time periods. Therefore, this paper will focus on electronic health records pinpointing its weaknesses and recommend ways to improve the same for a better health system in the country.

Problem Statement

Health is a very critical part of human health and better living. This calls for innovations and inventions in the health sector. However, the cost of health in many countries especially in the developing countries has been so high that the mortality rates due to medical inaccessibility have continuously gone high. The high mortality rates have been contributed by the chronic diseases which researchers take more time to come up with a cure or even intervention methods. All this has been contributed by the increased budget of healthcare. The introduction of electronic health record although not yet widely adopted by the developing countries, is a light at the end of a tunnel. This is because of its reduced cost in record storage, easy accessibility of health information and easy transfer of the patient’s information (Fatt & Zain, 2016, pp.75).

The introduction of electronic health records has improved the health sector. However, research done in the USA to determine the effectiveness of the system has pointed out some challenges that raise eyebrows. According to Rumbold, & Pierscionek, (2017, pp. 92), the use of technology has its costs. There have been concerns about the security of the information that is stored electronically due to the latest security breaches. Standing & Cripps, (2015, pp. 75-85) points out the inconsistency of information from the patients as some of them do not divulge all their medical information to the doctors thus raising health concerns about the records. The last critical problem is the incorporation of the system into healthcare and addressing the specific patient’s needs. These issues raise concern in the adoption and use of electronic health records.

Literature Review

Previously Presented Solutions

The militarization of the implementation. This calls for drawing out the plan with responsibilities as well as roles in the plan and lastly formulating the contingency ploy for the plan. This may involve the creation of a command centre that can ensure a quick response to issues and come up with decisions in split seconds. The second solution existing is addressing the patients’ needs which may include prioritization of patient’s preferences as well as how they would prefer it to be done (Dorr, Cohen & Adler-Milstein, 2018, pp.257-265). Creation of passwords on the facility computers has also ensured the security of the records. These solutions have been incorporated. However, their success has been very minimal.

Methods used to Examine the Problem

The methods used in examining the problem of research done by PubMed to determine the success of electronic health records. Chiropractic literature index as well as both the current nursing indexing and the use of allied hospital documentation database. The investigations were done in the years 2005-2015 (Taylor, 2017, pp. 31-40).

Importance of the Problem

Health records form an important part of the health system. The benefits range from better diagnosis, ease in sharing of patient health information, improved health record accessibility, to better working by the health officers. This calls for a better health record system which will enable the execution of all the hospital plans in relation to the provision of better health provision. Therefore, the topic of solving issues of EHR is important to healthcare and clinicians because of the following reasons;

· Improved Diagnosis

Proper and complete electronic health records provide adequate information which enables clinicians to make a better diagnosis for patients. Researches have established that use e-information improved effectiveness of health information, 94%agreed that use of EHR improved accessibility of patient information. In a second study, 885 of the clinicians reported that electronic health records offer profits for clinical practices (Lockwood et al., 2016, pp. 425-432).

· Risk Reduction

Proper health records also reduce risks of mistakes and errors that are made by clinicians thus improving the safety of the patients.

· Risk Management and Liability Avoidance

Proper electronic health records are able to signal and even remind clinicians on what they are supposed to do at a given time. With the system, it’s easier to analyze and transfer a patient’s information. Lastly, the large pool of information allows the clinicians to access different information and medical history which expands the understanding of the patient’s condition thus providing the necessary care for the patient (Lockwood et al., 2016, pp.425-432).

· The Integrity of the Information

Ratwani, Fairbanks, Hettinger, & Benda, (2015, pp. 1179-1182) the improper use and designing of the electronic health system may result in unnecessary problems. This can distort the quality and integrity of data stored thus endangering the patient’s safety. The problem cause also leads to other problems which include fraud rise as well as abuse of patient’s information thus resulting in huge legal obligations for the healthcare. Attending to the issue will lead to solving of these problems and at the same time improve the safety of patients.

How the Problem will be Solved through Assessment

· Integrity Issues

The integrity of the information recorded by in the health records can be improved through the following;

Procurement of systems that would prevent fraudulent activities through the inner design that gives alerts to another system in case of the activity initiation. The second way can be through the implementation of adoption of policies guidelines as well as system functioning that is able to prevent fraudulent activities (Ryan, Doster, Daily & Lewis, 2018).

Ethical Solutions

· Security of Information

Patient information is supposed to be given an upper hand. Previously, passwords have been used to serve the purpose which has not been very successful. Below are ways through which security can be improved;

The use of firewalls for facility computers can serve the purpose. In addition, updated antivirus, as well as intrusion detectors, can be incorporated in the computer systems of the facility to ensure confidentiality of the data. To govern all these measures, policies, as well as guidelines in the use of the system, can be added for example the non-ID sharing policy, log-out in finishing the task policy and password use monitoring by the IT department (Ozair, Jamshed, Sharma & Aggarwal, 2015, pp. 73).

· System Implementation

During the system implementation, the developers of the electronic health records should take into consideration all the users of the system. This is because the designing of the user interface in the past has been the cause of many problems including longer time in the insertion of data, unlimited errors in the information entered and dissatisfaction by the users. By creating a friendly interface that can be easily understood and used will enable proper practice of the EHR and reduce errors and rejection by the health workers (Amarasingham et al., 2016).

Conclusion

The introduction of electronic health records has seen many advancements and cost reduction in many health care facilities in the world. The system has been associated with many successes in the chronic diseases intervention measures discovery, provision of necessary care and improved quality of health care services for patients. All these attributes to the availability and accessibility of information. However, the system has had some shortcomings including security, privacy, the integrity of the information stored beside implementation challenges. This paper has discussed all these and provided solutions which if incorporated will see the system become the most successful advancement in the health sector in the world of medicine.

References

Amarasingham, R., Audet, A. M. J., Bates, D. W., Cohen, I. G., Entwistle, M., Escobar, G. J., … & Ram, S. (2016). Consensus statement on electronic health predictive analytics: a guiding framework to address challenges. eGEMs, 4(1).

Dorr, D. A., Cohen, D. J., & Adler-Milstein, J. (2018). Data-driven diffusion of innovations: successes and challenges in 3 large-scale innovative delivery models. Health Affairs, 37(2), 257-265.

Fatt, Q. K., & Zain, A. Z. M. (2016). Implementation and issues concerning electronic healthcare records. J Health Commun.

Lockwood, A. M., Perez, K. K., Musick, W. L., Ikwuagwu, J. O., Attia, E., Fasoranti, O. O., … & Musser, J. M. (2016). Integrating rapid diagnostics and antimicrobial stewardship in two community hospitals improved process measures and antibiotic adjustment time. infection control & hospital epidemiology, 37(4), 425-432.

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.

Ratwani, R. M., Fairbanks, R. J., Hettinger, A. Z., & Benda, N. C. (2015). Electronic health record usability: analysis of the user-centred design processes of eleven electronic health record vendors. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 22(6), 1179-1182.

Rumbold, J. M. M., & Pierscionek, B. (2017). The effect of the general data protection regulation on medical research. Journal of medical Internet research, 19(2).

Ryan, J., Doster, B., Daily, S., & Lewis, C. (2018). Improving Perioperative Data Integrity and Quality via Electronic Medical Record Reconciliation.

Standing, C., & Cripps, H. (2015). Critical success factors in the implementation of electronic health records: A two‐case comparison. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 32(1), 75-85.

Taylor, D. N. (2017). A literature review of electronic health records in chiropractic practice: common challenges and solutions. Journal of chiropractic humanities, 24(1), 31-40.

 

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