Electronic Records - Essay Example

Electronic medical records are the “new age” in storing medical records. An electronic medical record Is a digital record kept by your doctors office. Your insurance company, or by facilities where you are a patient, like a hospital for instance.

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Electronic medical record systems are Intended to keep track of the patient’s entire health and medical history in a computerized format. Thus, with the records kept in order, retrieving the records when needed is much safer and efficient. However. Efficiency is not the only benefit. For patient’s, access to good care becomes easier and safer when their records can be easily shared. Important information such as blood type, prescribed medications, medical conditions, and any other vital medical Information can be recorded much more quickly.

At the very least, n existing electronic medical record can save time at the doctor’s office or even your life in an emergency. An additional benefit Is safety, In the past; the way a doctor obtained your heath history from you was by asking you. Each time you visited a new doctor’s office, you filled out forms about your history, including previous surgeries, or medications that you take on a regular basis. If you forgot a piece of Information, or did not write It down because it seemed unimportant to you, then your doctor did not have that piece of medical information to work with.

Another feature with electronic medical records Is voice recognition. In the beginning, there was memory; the doctor’s memory was relied on for the patient’s medical record” (Fisherman, Eric 2010). Hand written notes can become tedious and the computer or using a recording device, which then can be imported into the patient’s medical record. Quick access to our records can be life saving if an emergency occurs and answers to those questions are needed during an emergency making decision process.

We never know when we will need emergency medical attention. After all, that is the definition for emergency?an event that we have not planned for. Even the federal government thinks electronic record keeping is important; it has put its money and efforts where its recommendations are. Veterans’ hospitals across the country share an electronic system, called Vista. ” () Should a patient find himself in a hospital, even while away from home, the hospital will have the same access to his or her records that the hometown hospital does.

When doctor’s share records electronically, your new doctor only needs your name, date of birth, and possibly another piece of identifying information. Then he or she can pull up your records from their electronic storage space. All information needed, will be there in full view. Most offices that have an electronic medical record filing system have a practice management program. Procedure and diagnosis codes are entered into the practice management system as well as administrative and financial tasks.

The software is used to process financial transactions from schedule visits. The program calculates charges for the office visit, estimates patient and insurance financial responsibilities, and creates insurance claims. The software is also used to record patients’ payments, provide receipts, and compute patients’ account balances. Having a practice management system is beneficial for everyone in the office. Bills are sent. Money is received. Salaries are paid. Everybody is happy. For a medical office to thrive payment for services rendered is a must.

Money is saved by using electronic medical records; not Just the cost of paper and file folders, but the cost of labor and space, too. In any business, time equals money. The efficiencies created by simply typing a few identifying keystrokes to retrieve a patient’s record as opposed to staring at thousands of file folders, filing and refilling them saves a doctor’s practice or a hospital many thousands of dollars. That is even taking the cost of the electronic system into account. When the doctors and insurance companies save money this generally extends to the patients as well.

Disadvantages of using electronic medical records are system crashes which in turn, can cause loss of the patient record. Having a back-up system is extremely important in the event of a computer crash. Did I mention legibility? Gone are the days of not being able to read the doctors hand writing (a medical Billy’s nightmare). Pharmacies everywhere can read the prescription. Plus, medication compatibilities can even be compared. With so many benefits of using an electronic medical record known, in the near future all providers will be required to go electronic.

President Obama has made it mandatory for all health care businesses to go electronic within the next five years. Electronic medical records are “new age” of storing records. With a little time and patience, health care providers will realize they made the right choice. Communication will improve and patient privacy will remain respected.