Improving The Health Care For Others

Dan - Wentzville, Missouri
Entered on December 28, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, illness
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Electronic Health Records are progressively being adapted by those involved with the health care profession recently. The criticism of the existing health care system- expressed by others such as the Institute of Medicine, have caused others to consider the benefits of these health care records. Known often as EHRs, there are those who have understandable concerns regarding a patient’s personal information now in a digital format that can be accessed over a network. However, the advantages of this new innovation can potentially reduce medical errors as well as cost. The health care providers and their staff are now allowed to be more efficient as they promote standardization of care due to this new paradigm of accessibility that makes patient information easily obtained by the caregivers. Also, these new EMRs may improve billing accuracy for various medical establishments. In addition, these EHRs may likely decrease the possibility of performing duplicate ancillary services that occur in large part because of other health care providers understandably are unaware of the patient’s history relevant to this mistake, perhaps. Needless to say, the handwriting of the well-educated will no longer vex readers who attempt to read what may be unreadable thanks to the advent of EHRs.

Yet still, presently only about 10 percent of medical institutions and health care clinics have a fully integrated system regarding EHRs. However close to half of all health care providers have and use these EHRs. Electronic Medical Health Records have advantages, yet have not been adopted by many involved with patient care for a variety of reasons. EMRs supplement what is known as pay for performance initiatives for health care providers. This relatively new and controversial standard being implemented by payers of reimbursing those in the health care system that rewards those providers who deliver superior health care financially for meeting or exceeding variables established by those who reimburse providers. Some argue that this protocol of reimbursement to health care providers may not be in the best interest of patients- and the variables, some say, are not clearly defined yet. The reimbursement method is based on how providers demonstrate performance and outcomes data regarding patient care. This removes the focus on treating the individual patient- and the P4P initiative does not allow for variables associated with different specialties in medicine that allow for necessary deviations from a structured system such as this. Ultimately, EHRs potentially will effectively manage the health and wellness of patients as well as enhance the quality and continuity of the health care provided to the patient.

Also, those who do have EHRs in their medical clinics utilize only a fraction of what these electronic digital devices are capable of providing. As stated already, this data includes factors that describe performance and outcomes of the care given to patients. So if EHRs are utilized by health care providers, they should perhaps strive to maximize the sharing of data, as this potentially enhances and promotes the quality of health care delivery, according to others. In addition, the interaction between the health care provider and the patient during their encounters potentially be enhanced due to a more complete exchange of health care information.

The functions of electronic health records include the following:

-storage and transmission of health care information and data improved, along with reporting functions

-the management of ordering procedures for patients, and results from diagnostic testing

-enhanced connectivity and communication offered by EHRs

-enhanced support of patients, and the decisions regarding their care

Interoperatibility is the exchange of information due to the ability to access and deliver this data to compile knowledge at the point of care. This is also considered a significant benefit with EHRs that is often mentioned by those who utilize EHRs in their medical facilities. Big words sound impressive, do they not?