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Hcs 490 - Electronic Medical Records

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Electronic Medical Records

Ashley Bailey


May 30, 2011

Michael Veal

Electronic Medical Records

Technological advances have created a bridge of communication between patients and providers. It opened the field of health care to new possibilities including the way patients and providers interact. One of these advances is that of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). Electronic medical record may decrease health care costs, increase the quality of patient care, facilitate better departmental communication, create less paper confusion, allow use with authorized access only, allow storage of digital images, and increase overall efficiency in the health care system (Steward, 2005). "Electronic medical records are a computerized record of a patient's clinical, demographic, and administrative data, also known as a computer-based patient record" ( Kolter, Shalowitz, & Stevens, 2008, p. 497).

Patient Benefits

Medical records are an important part of a patient's health care. They contain detailed information about patients past and are necessary for health care providers to have when giving treatment. For patients, the benefits are obvious--convenience, portability, and efficiency (Hoffmann, 2009, para. 2). Patients have the convience of having their medical information at their fingertips, they do not have to worry about hand carrying their records and these records are efficient. Another benefit of having this information electronic is the fact that it is more secure and protected. There are really no way to secure or protect paper records unless it us under lock and key. Once a paper record is removed it usually goes through several sets of hands before the work day is done. During this transition these records are alterned and viewed by many. It is easy for someone who has no authroizaiton to view the records if for some reason they are left unattended. With electronic medical records the system the information can be protected by need to know and passwords. Electronically it is easier to provide these services than it is for paper records.

Patient Confidentiality

Patient confidentiality is a must in all aspects of health care. Patients want to feel that their needs are being met and that they can rely on the providers to be professional enough not to share their personal information with everyone else. "The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adopt standards for electronic medical transactions" (Steward, 2005, p. 494). HIPPA was designed to help protect patient confidentiality



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