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An Electronic Medical Record

An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is an electronic record of the patient's health background and test outcomes. An archive which is retained digitally permits ease of transfer between doctors and readability, not counting on the old system of documents which need to be physically moved, or at best, faxed between offices. EMR systems have been around for a number of years already, yet many private hospitals and medical doctors still rely in writing records. However, an entire EMR system is complex, facilitating transfer of information between linked systems whether they are area of the same organization rather than being just a flat file over a desktop with data came into. Many employees and medical professionals withstand change and privateness issues are often at the forefront of concerns working with electronic marketing. This newspaper discusses the impacts of putting into action and operating an EMR plus some of the difficulties which may happen that healthcare providers cite as reasons never to go digital.


The world of medical technology today abounds with information of breakthroughs and innovation using the latest technology and techniques. Technology allows us to perform operations and treat patients in ways not thought possible just 20 years ago. The field of medical information systems however is lagging very good behind the rest, numerous medical details and communications between doctors still accomplished via paper. How come there such a disparity between your procedures of accomplishing medicine on patients and the way the data of the types of procedures on those same patients are placed? In this world of international travel where one can travel halfway around the globe in less than a day, if the medical files of the traveler not have the ability to arrive digitally if he or she needs it while out of the country?

Implementation of Electronic Medical Data (EMRs) in the united states and interconnecting them with the rest of the world, unfortunately, is a long and extensive process. Converting over to an EMR may adversely have an impact on daily functions and increase risk if the correct steps are not taken. The cost may be prohibitive, priced at up to $7 million for a 200 bed hospital. However, permanent benefits outweigh the investment. Quotes show that execution of any EMR system could save private hospitals from $142 to $371 billion yearly, raise the efficiency and reduce problems (Venkatraman, Bala, Venkatesh & Bates, 2008, p. 141). The planning and execution of the program requires the support of both the management and the doctors and nurses who'll be using the machine on a daily basis.


For a system to be considered useful, the various components and interfaces must be accessible. In a study by Ilie, Slyke, Parikh and Courtney (2009), individuals often select the method of information entrance and retrieval which is most accessible. The foundation for these actions can be identified using the "least-effort" model (p. 218). Essentially whichever method is simpler or even more familiar is the technique preferred. Private hospitals and doctor's offices have, for a long time, used a paper details system. The benefits of newspaper charts are that the charts are put near each patient and allow for free form notation. Converting to an EMR system requires training and convenient placement of terminals for medical doctor and nurses. The most convenient may be positioning a terminal in each office and place, in or simply outside each patient location, or allowing portable units for information entry and retrieval; but implementation of this might not be within the budget or timetable. In occasions where availability of terminals weren't convenient, it was found that doctors and nurses dropped back to documenting in some recoverable format charts and then down the road reentering the data online (Spetz & Keane, 2009, p. 342). To lessen the inclination of users falling back on paper, strategic planning is necessary in choosing a system which is user-friendly and in keeping models for retrieval and accessibility of data.

Accessibility also means the ability to get needed information about a patient from locations where she or he doesn't have a prior record. In a global where EMR systems (which can interface with each other) are the norm, travelers wouldn't normally have to be concerned that something may be overlooked simply because previous medical records were not available. In addition, conditions where medical files were wiped out credited to disasters and backups weren't available, treatment of patients may become very difficult. After Hurricane Katrina, many physicians didn't have medical files for patients needing emergency treatment; often the patients were themselves in no condition to answer questions or simply didn't know enough to give meaningful answers (Brooks & Grotz, 2010, p. 73). Even though a hospital or doctor's office installs an EMR system, thought should be given to how lightweight the info is. Due to the many different suppliers available, EMR systems may or might not exactly be able to transfer data effectively. If an individual moves and requires treatment in another location, an incompatible EMR user interface may necessitate that the information be published out and by hand transferred to the new location, effectively negating one of the primary benefits of holding the information electronically.


There are benefits to implementing an EMR system, both tangible and intangible. One benefit, as mentioned above, could be the ability to share the info between different locations easily. Another advantage which is important to management but often does take time to understand is monetary, by means of cost savings from increased efficiency and reduced problems. Increased efficiency also may translate to increased patient satisfaction, leading to increased business and reputation.

Most people think of lowering the quantity of paper used whenever a system migrates to heading digital, but newspaper is a affordable medium though it requires up a large amount of space. Alternatively, take the case of the radiology team. The film used must be specially well prepared prior to utilize and it needs special equipment both to use the image and also to process for browsing. Moving from hardcopy radiological images to 1 produced and stored digitally reduces both costs and facilitates copy of images (Ayal & Seidmann, 2009, p. 45, 47).

In the case study of the rural hospital, a number of systems were applied to improve efficiency. The perspective was "to generate a built-in IT system with an electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized doctor order entry (CPOE). " (Spetz & Keane, 2009, p. 338). Incorporating both of these would allow the patient to receive testing and treatments by a healthcare facility, then the prescription would be relayed to the pharmacy electronically. The nurse can scan the wristband of the individual and labels on the prescriptions to validate the correct medicine goes to the correct person. A part of the system which have been put in place in the first month was a bar-coding system for products producing a loss of patient care units operating out of items due to improved inventory control (Spetz & Keane, 2009, pp. 338-340).

The reduced amount of problems is also a key concern and the use of electronic information and a central databases reduces the probability of duplication and mid-identification. As cited by Venkatraman, Bala, Venkatesh and Bates (2008) in their release to their newspaper, "The Institute of Treatments (IOM) in 1999 stunned the country by reporting that just as much as 98000 people expire in hospitals annually as a consequence to medical problems. These mistakes are also said to cost hospitals around $29 billion every year. " Many costly flaws may have been avoided if physicians acquired better information available or were not mislead by incorrect information, for example getting the incorrect charts for the incorrect person.

In the procedure of proposing an EMR solution, the most typical way is show benefits using economic worth and time/productivity savings. However, there are intangible benefits that are not so easily discovered or measured. An appealing factor sometimes forgotten is upsurge in satisfaction, both for the customers and for the physicians (Ayal & Seidmann, 2009, p. 49). The capability to process results quickly affects the views the public has of a healthcare facility or office and faster processing allows physicians to accomplish more. One of the most frustrating parts of healthcare is the hold out necessary: patients waiting around to be observed or looking forward to doctors to diagnose the checks, doctors and nurses looking forward to testing to be run or film to be developed. A byproduct of increasing the efficiency of procedures is reduced annoyance and upgraded satisfaction. After all, a patient at a clinic with an mysterious problem shouldn't have to speculate "what is taking such a long time" in addition to "what's wrong beside me?"


Once the decision has been designed to acquire an EMR system, the next step is to choose which to work with. Many medical technology and software companies are offering EMRs numerous different requirements. Would a total designed system be better than a modular system? Are there partners requiring the ability to interface with the machine? What is the degree of technical sophistication of the users? These questions and many other need to be dealt with in deciding which kind of EMR system could be the best fit.

One key take note in the execution of any EMR system is that there surely is always a learning curve engaged. Expect output to fall after original deployment with an increase in productivity once users are familiar with the machine. A temporary drop of just as much as 50% could be expected initially with efficiency ramping again up to pre-implementation levels by six weeks, although some organizations required at least per annum (Brooks & Grotz, 2010, p. 81). Often this period of decreased efficiency is exactly what many users complain about: they cannot document as fast as they used to, they need to stop often to respond to system notifications, equipment is no longer working (possibly scheduled to incorrect options or improper use). Training for users of the system is thus an important area of the implementation plan. Enough time must be reserve for learning the system and support must be accessible if needed.


Where terminals were positioned is often important to the privateness of patients. Inside a case where an EMR system was integrated in a rural hospital, nurses and their professionals had given insight on locations for installation of pcs and scanning cabinets. After the nurses started out using the machine, however, issues of privateness came up. A number of the rooms were multi-bed and with only 1 computer, the nurse sometimes had to speak across one patient to get information from another (Spetz & Keane, 2009, p. 341). Clearly another method needed to be implemented to avoid violation of patient confidentiality; however such changes aren't easily accomplished, especially if the system has already been set up.

Developing an insurance plan for accessing the machine is also paramount to safeguard of patient privacy in addition to business and financial documents. There are many types of gain access to levels open to something as potentially complicated as an EMR. Probably the most obvious are access to medical and financial information. Also included are usage of configure the hardware and software, especially the granting of permissions for other users to access various parts of the machine. Think about for example, the nurse who may need to acquire financial or insurance information and enter into it in a way that the billing team can access it. Imagine if this same privilege inadvertently provided access to medical center financial details also? Also if an extranet is setup to interface with insurance companies for billing, how much access should they have? If regulations are not setup correctly, insurance companies may be able to access documents on patients under other insurance company's policies (Wilcox & Brown, 2005, p. 47).

Past employees also have to have access to the system terminated and an insurance plan should maintain effect as to what an acceptable timeframe for access termination. Wilcox and Dark brown (2005) recommended that normal terminations, such as retirement, resignation and staff transfer, should be within 1 day and urgent terminations, such as a "position change of a worker under hostile circumstances like a firing, suspension, or other disciplinary action or any time there is affordable cause to think that a end user may try to damage or misuse data or system resources, " should happen in a hour.

Medical identification theft is now becoming more of a concern because of the capabilities of hackers to gain access to electronic systems. Equally as someone could park outside a store and wirelessly tap into the mastercard authorization process, someone could try to intercept marketing communications between hospitals or even between departments in a medical center. Kieke cites a report by the Federal Trade Commission payment that state governments that "medical id theft accounts for 3 percent of personal information theft crimes" (Kieke, 2009). The theft may be used to fraudulently obtain healthcare services, file fake claims, or try to secure drugs (Kieke, 2009, pp51-52). After the identity has been compromised, it might be sold and resold multiple times, costing the individual time and money to clear the statements and set up their own identity again.


In many ways, execution of EMR system will be beneficial to hospitals and hospitals. The amount of implementation is dependent on the requirements of this establishment. Specialized clinics and many doctor's offices do not require the complete gamut of software to run, often a subset or certain key modules would suffice. However, the ability to organize and display medical data in a important way which practices some form of standardization and the ability to transfer files to other locations in times of need should be a requirement of any EMR execution. Along with the technology needed comes a need to look at the individual requirements behind using the system. The users, doctors and nurses in particular, are essential to the entire success of any implantation. Not handling issues which come up from this group of users may provide the whole execution moot.

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