Benefits of Electronic Medical Records

Benefits of Electronic Medical Records Stephanie Fine HCS/490 December 5, 2011 Cindy Perkins Benefits of Electronic Medical Records * “In 1972, the Regenstreif Institute developed the first medical records system” (Unknown, History of Electronic Medical Records, 2011, Para. 3). Since then, health care facilities across the nation are beginning to see the benefits that electronic medical records have on both health care providers and patients as well.
This paper will discuss the benefits of electronic medical records for patients as well as one aspect relating to the values and importance of maintaining confidentiality when using this mode of communication. This paper will provide at least one reason this mode is an effective means of communication between consumers and providers and explain how this mode of communication differs from others. Finally, this paper will show how media and social networking change communication in health care as well as how electronic medical records can be used to market health care products or services. Although there are many benefits for patients and Electronic medical records this paper will focus on the top three. The first benefit would be that “Electronic medical records (EMR’s) help improve the care of patients and reduce medical errors in doctors’ offices” (Huckestein, 2011, Para. 1). This is because all of a patients medical records are kept in one place and accessed through a secured web portal by any provider that the patient must see.
This leave less room for errors due to unspoken information that can be critical to the patient but forgotten to say to the provider such as allergies, medications, and previous diagnoses. The second benefit would be the ease of access. Most health care facilities that use electronic medical records also use e-prescriptions as well. “Prescriptions are electronically sent directly to pharmacies and are ready to be picked up after the office visit” (Huckestein, 2011, Para. 5). This helps to cut down on time and eroors made in patient medications.

Along with quick prescription services the patient does not always have to wait for the doctor’s office to open to request information from their providers. “Patients may also be able to request referrals, prescriptions refills, and appointments through the Internet from their physicians’ offices” (Huckestein, 2011, Para. 5). The third benefit of electronic medical records for patients is the comfort of knowing that their medical records are kept safe , secure , and will never be lost. Keeping these records electronically, especially in the cases where patients can also gain access to them, means the patient won’t be left without the records she may need” (Torrey, 2011, Para. 7). This is especially comforting to have if the health facility were happen to close or go out of buisness. The patient knows that he or she will still have all necessary records to continue with the health care that he or she needs. * While ease of access is very important, security of electronic medical records is just as important.
Health providers are required to abide by all HIPAA laws within the office as well as electronically. It is very important that not only health care staff but patients as well keep all passwords and user information to themselves and never reveal security information with others. This helps to ensure that all medical information is kept safe and free from identity theft and other crimes involving sharing or reveling medical information to anyone who is not authorized to view it. One reason this mode is an effective means of communication between consumers and providers the ease of access to all medical records in the event of an emergency situation. When a patient is well or seeing a provider for non emergency situations they are able to provide accurate information needed to help keep electronic medical records up to date. This data is kept in the same file and used to help the patient in the event of an emergency that perhaps the patient is unable to speak or inform the health providers of their medical history, medications, and or disease or illnesses they may have. At most, quick access to our records can be lifesaving if an emergency occurs and answers to those questions are needed during the emergency decision-making process” (Torrey, 2011). This can be very useful if the patient happened to be on vacation or out of town. It can “Provide a single, shareable, up to date, accurate, rapidly retrievable source of information, potentially available anywhere at any time” (Unknown, Electronic Medical Records, Electronic Health Records … , 2011, Para. 12). * It is clear that electronic medical records are beneficial and different from any other mode f communication. This is because it is a direct link between both the provider and the patients. It is also set up to still be available regardless of a tragic event such as 911. Paper files, fax, and phone messages can be destroyed in a flood or fire but electronic medical records are here to stay. “Large scale EMR systems replicate their stored records in several places across the country so that one tragic event won’t destroy them” (Torrey, 2011, Para. 4). * Another area that can be benefited by electronic medical records is health care product and service providers.
Just like the ads one may find on social networks like face book and MySpace, ads for health care products and services can be place on the web portals that patients and providers use to obtain their electronic medical records. On the patient side, the patients can see new and upcoming health care products that they can discuss with their providers to help with medical issues. They can also see service ads for sites such as Web MD and the Mayo Clinic that help answer other questions they may have regarding healthier lifestyles and other information.
On the provider side, there could be ads on new medications and drug reps that can help them decide what medications they would like to prescribe in their facility. * In conclusion, electronic medical records are a huge step forward in the health care world for both providers and patients. This paper has discussed the benefits of electronic medical records for patients as well as one aspect relating to the values and importance of maintaining confidentiality when using this mode of communication.
This paper has provided three reasons this mode is an effective means of communication between consumers and providers and explained how this mode of communication differs from others. Finally, this paper has shown how media and social networking change communication in health care as well as how electronic medical records can be used to market health care products or services. * References Huckestein, D. (2011). Patients Benefit from Electronic Medical Records. Retrieved from IHA: http://www. ihacares. com/index. cfm/news-room/patients-benefit-from-electronic-medical-records/ Torrey, T. 2011, April 11). The Benefits of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). Retrieved from About. com: http://patients. about. com/od/electronicpatientrecords/a/EMRbenefits. htm Unknown. (2011, September 14). Electronic Medical Records, Electronic Health Records … . Retrieved from Open Clinical: http://www. openclinical. org/emr. html Unknown. (2011). History of Electronic Medical Records. Retrieved from http://www. nasbhc. org/atf/cf/%7BCD9949F2-2761-42FB-BC7A-CEE165C701D9%7D/TA_HIT_history%20of%20EMR. pdf * * * * *

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