Electronic Health Records

ehrThere is a lot of talk these days in healthcare about Electronic Health Records. Seems we are starting to move in that direction more and more. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was signed into law on February 17, 2009 by President Obama.
According to the AHIMA,
“Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the development of Regional Extension Centers (regional centers) offers unique opportunities for HIM professionals to be at the forefront of electronic health record (EHR) implementations. HIM professionals provide critical and essential skills as providers and entities are going through the transition to a more electronic environment to become meaningful users of EHRs. AHIMA has developed a concept paper outlining the benefits and opportunities of engaging HIM in the process and aligning them with key stakeholders to achieve meaningful use and improved use of EHRs.”
“How HIM Can Help
Given the task that regional centers are trying to accomplish, HIM professionals can provide support in a number of ways:

A. EHR and personal health record (PHR) knowledge and experience
• Implementation – HIM professionals have expertise and experience with EHR implementation lifecycle from workflow analysis and impact assessment to go-live support and post go-live support.
• Data use expertise – HIM professionals are experts in the use of electronic data for coding; billing; release of information; privacy, security and confidentiality of health information; providing data for research, quality measurement, public reporting; clinical documentation improvement programs; and computer-assisted coding. HIM professionals are also committed to data integrity, particularly as it impacts patient care.
• Record custodians – HIM professionals are trained to be and are considered to be the lawful “custodian of the record,” regardless of the media.
• Community education – AHIMA has an established community outreach program
(www.myphr.com) designed to raise awareness and educate the public about the importance of PHRs, patients’ rights regarding access to health information, and the benefits of EHRs.” Source: http://www.ahima.org/arra/

For more information about AHIMA and the Health Care Reform and Health IT Stimulus: ARRA and HITECH, please visit: http://www.ahima.org/arra/

Tell me do you think an electronic health record is the right thing to do? What issues and barriers do you see with implementing an EHR? Let’s talk about this.

13 Responses to “Electronic Health Records”

    • Katherine Newport

      I believe that the Electronic Health Records is a great advancement in the medical field. By using EHR it affords all Health Care Professional the access that they need to assure the best medical assistance possible. Using the EHR system can help the health care professionals to track a patient’s history of medical care, insurance, and payment. This in turn helps the professional assess and structure a play of attack on the patient’s care. Even with the possibility of possible privacy and security issues, it is a win/win opportunity for the advancement of the health care profession.

  1. Angela Laborde

    I have just completed the MIBC program. After 9 months of studying and dedication, I must say that I am totally excited to see what the future has to offer me in this field.

    My Online Instructors have been 100% supportive throug -out the course of the nine months. You can tell that they love what they do and the instuctors have proven to be very knowledgable in their field. The MIBC online program was the most oraginized online class the I have witnessed so far; It’s as close to an actual campus that you can get.

    I appreciate all the help and support that I have received from my instructors and staff at the Allen School. I have learned a great deal from you all.

    Angela

  2. Roslyn Roe

    Tell me do you think an electronic health record is the right thing to do? What issues and barriers do you see with implementing an EHR?

    Yes, I feel that the way of the future is all EHR. Having the EHR will make treating a patient more effectively, with less errors. Physicians will be able to see a patients chart in the time it takes to enter there name or pt ID. Therre can be mutible personal on one chart at the same time. Discharging a pt will be mush faster with less errors.

    One of the problem areas is the security of the file. Who and what type of information will be able to be released and to who it goes to is something that they are working on now.

    • Rosemarie

      The electronic health record will enhance the overall medical care of patients. Physicians will be able to interact with one another more closely on patient’s health issues to improve their medical care. Office staff will be able to make appointments and track patient billing easier. Office management will have easier access at reporting issues to ensure the financial stability of the facility. Making sure the privacy of patients is protected is up to the facility and should be taken seriously and with no issues left unaddressed. Although the expense of implementing an electronic system is high, the quality it will allow the patient on various levels of healthcare will be worth it.

  3. Shanikqua Houston

    An electronic health record (EHR) is an evolving concept defined as a systematic collection of electronic health information about individual patients or populations. It is a record in digital format that is capable of being shared across different health care settings. A comprehensive view of a patient’s health is using electronic health records. The information included is information about health issues, medications, allergies and health information between treating physicians, when authorized by a patient. The push is on for healthcare providers to make the switch to electronic health records but it is hard to tell how well these complex health information technology systems are being implemented and used, Hopefully the conversion will be very much successful for all practices.

  4. Michael Jones

    Electronic records are very useful as mentioned in the blog because they make jobs for coders much easier. Information is easier to track and harder to destroy or completely erase, especially if backed up on the computer. I also liked the description given for an HIM professional because I want to be described in a similar way when I start my careeer.

  5. Louise Lewis

    I’m all for the electronic health record, and I say those who don’t already have better get on board quickly. I’m sure the initial impletation and conversion in the workplace will be quite stressful, but, once all is said and done, I’m sure you will find that it is a wonderful tool to have and you are going to wonder why it took you so long to get it in the first place. I speak from experience of having used this system, in my previous. We had both paper and electronic, but it was just so much easier, and less has to retrieve the needed documents with the electronic record. I hope you all enjoy it once you start using it!

  6. Peter Rossbach

    The Wall Street Journal published a special section, “Innovations in Health Care”; April 13, 2010 that contains two excellent articles on the effect technology is having on the healthcare system. If your library has an archive either a hardcopy or computer scanned version of these articles it may be worthwhile to read them to get an impression of how electronic health records are impacting inpatient and outpatient office settings. Unless you have a paid subscription to the Wall Street Journal these articles are available but at a fee, free if you subscribe. There are two articles, ‘Can Technology Cure Health Care?’ by Jacob Goldstein and ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ by Laura Landro.
    In ‘Can Technology Cure Health Care’, the most common complaint of electronic systems is the ‘short shrift systems give to improving patient care; they focus on administrative tasks such as making savvier use of complex billing cods for insurance reimbursement.’ An executive of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society disputes that saying that the systems ‘are primarily designed for improving clinical outcomes, and second benefit is that they improve administrative efficiencies.’ Many physicians believe the systems are designed for billing not clinical outcomes. Solutions include setting up computer labs for staffers to try out the systems and have the physicians and nurses’ help customize the systems to eliminate unnecessary features. Once the systems are selected it recommends a slowly phased in approach instead of a rushed approach which could lead to ‘lower-quality’ care for patients.’
    ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ discusses the future of electronic health records and the positive impact they can have on patient care. Only 10% of the nation’s hospitals and 7% of doctors’ offices have full fledged electronic medical records. Patient records are only shared between facilities in the same health system. Concern about violating privacy laws has made many hospitals reluctant to join information-exchange efforts. Federal government’s $19 Billion dollar economic stimulus fund for health-care providers to adopt electronic medical records. $700 million of stimulus for states to create information exchanges that would link multiple providers in a state or region. New information exchange groups such as RHIO’s Regional Health Information Organizations, HIE, Health Information Exchange. Savings are estimated at $20 million annually in staff, fax and postage costs for record transfers.
    There’s more to these articles than what I’ve paraphrased here, it is a preview of what is being developed, planned and implemented and appears to give the impression that there is future job growth in this field for people taking medical billing and coding programs like ours.

  7. Hi Everyone:
    According to a CNN Money column only about 8% of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 17% of the 800,000 physicians currently use the kind of common computerized record-keeping systems that the Obama administration envisions for the nation. This article suggested that the country suffers a dearth of skilled workers necessary to build and implement the necessary technology. Independent studies from Harvard, RAND and the Commonwealth Fund have shown that such plans could cost at least $75 billion to $100 billion over the ten years they think it will take to implement this program. Luis Castillo, senior vice president of Siemens Healthcare, states one of the greatest obstacles is building a system that thinks like a physician.
    So it looks like there will also be a growth in jobs for the implementation of systems within hospitals and physician offices.
    Reference: http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/12/technology

  8. I believe that the EHR is the way to go. I agree with what everyone has stated. The clinic I go to uses this and it makes me happy about it. The clinic I use to go to had a file with all my information and that made me nervous. For one thing anyone could look at your chart. TO me that is not right and it is not safe. At least with EHR it is password protected. I asked at my clinic and they told me that when they log on they are only allowed to go where they are suppose to and it all goes by your job title. It also will not let you in because if you are not cleared you can;t just go where you want to. You could try to log on but it does not always mean you will get in. I also like the fact with this EHR your RX are sent to the pharmacy for you. IT does take a bit for it to reach the pharmacy but you don;t have to take a RX there.

  9. Theresa Weakley

    The Electronic Health Record of the future will make things easier for both the patient and the physician. The physician will be able to schedule test for patients that are conducted in other facilities easier and get all test results at a faster rate. The rate with which a physician can get the test results is important especially if his patient is in critical condition.

    If a consultant is needed he can have access to the patients chart when needed to provide a indepth evaluation.

    Along with all the good that the EHR will provide we must remember that their will be need for protection of privacy even more then before. The records will need to be protected very carefully and which security system will be needed will be decided by each practice and needed to be updated repeatedly.

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