This blog post is a writing assignment for HIMT 1200: Legal Aspects of Healthcare, part of the Health Information Management Technology (HI13) Associate of Applied Science Degree program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
The benefits of computerized health records are numerous. Increasing numbers of physicians and facilities are adopting the EHR, and continuing changes and improvements will ensure it is a staple essential to a managed healthcare setting. Increased security risks do exist compared to paper records, but safeguards and regulations control them. The EHR supports care providers and improves overall healthcare in many more ways than it hiders.
Electronic health records allow for the electronic exchange of health information and better and safer management of health information and patients. Documentation is legible, complete, accurate, and is updated at the time of care. The data is easily and quickly accessible. The EHR reduces the number of medical mistakes and assists with more effective diagnoses (HealthIT.gov, 2019). This format provides care providers with different features and forms of information not available through paper charts such as alerts and the ability to track changes over time (Manca, 2015). The EHR assists in the efficient and safe prescribing of medications. It facilitates patient communication, interaction, and education (HealthIT.gov, 2019). This format also improves relationships and communication among multiple team members and care providers (Manca, 2015). Electronic health records streamline medical billing and coding, improve efficiency and productivity, and reduce costs (HealthIT.gov, 2019).
HIPAA regulations address privacy and security concerns for health records which are now commonly in electronic format. Electronic health systems are the basis for these health records. Regulating and improving these systems would help unify and standardize them, leading to better standardization of health records. It would also lead to improved interoperability and security if the software had better quality controls and standards. Electronic health records provide many benefits that outweigh the disadvantages, but these disadvantages need improved controls as the system continues to improve and change.
HealthIT.gov. (2019, May 16). What are the advantages of electronic health records? https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-are-advantages-electronic-health-records
Manca, D. P. (2015, Oct.). Do electronic medical records improve quality of care? NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607324/
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