Electronic health records are information systems within the health care sector that are gaining momentum in this digital age. EHR are digital systems used to collect, store and recover detailed information of a patient’s clinical history in any care setting. I see it as important to have these software systems in medical sectors as we cannot underestimate the problems that arise from missing and incorrect information of medical records of patients.
EHR systems help to improve the way medical services are delivered to patients. With a great level of reduction in errors, better ways to store and retrieve details of patients, lower medical costs, less time consuming processes (Emmanouilidou & Burke, 2012).
EHR systems allow a great level of collaborations between medical practitioners as health information about patients can be shared across boundaries (BBC, 2010). So if I have to take my grandma, who needs check-ups and all regularly, to some other city or state, continuity of her clinical upkeep is sustained and the required standard as history of her care will be retrieved from the EHR systems by the new doctor she will be visiting. This is very good, I must say.
However, information systems such as this require also as a necessity good security measures. Unauthorised access to patients’ clinical details may be detrimental to the patient involved for so many reasons and I agree with Nati that it is important to protect patients from been accessed illegally or even been hacked.
Nati made some goods points in this video below:
Nonetheless, these EHR systems need to be properly designed and implemented to avoid errors with details as I read about a situation where there were technical mistakes somewhere in Texas. A patient’s information was no properly recovered by a doctor due to the design of the EHR system as the nurses and doctors had separate sections. The patient was the first Ebola case recorded in the US (Frank, 2014).
But again, before these systems can be used effectively, the staff in the healthcare setting must be able to use these technology properly. In Greece, for example the medical sector lack an adequate IT know-how and this might cripple theproper use of EHR systems (Emmanouilidou & Burke, 2012)
These EHR systems if properly implemented will really help the medical sector.
BBC, 2010. News: BBC. [Online]
Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8559817.stm
[Accessed 11 March 2015].
Emmanouilidou, M. & Burke, M., 2012. A Thematic Revie and a Policy-analysis Agenda of Electronic Records in the Greek National Health System. Elsevier.
Frank, J. N., 2014. Article:Modern Healthcare. [Online]
Available at: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20141003/NEWS/310039978/procedural-flaw-in-ehr-system-cited-in-texas-ebola-case
[Accessed 12 March 2015].