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Medical Record Electronic - About Medical Record Electronic Data Systems - What is a Medical Record Electronic Data System?

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European countries such as Sweden have an adoption rate of over 90 percent for a medical record electronic storage/delivery system, while the United States, the richest country in the world, is still only at 17 percent.

Computer information systems have been wholly implemented in almost every other industry in the United States, including retail stores, consumer services, banks, insurance companies, and just about every government agency in existence, so it is questionable why an industry like healthcare continues to rely on paper records.

What is a Medical Record Electronic Data System?

An electronic medical record system is a computer and database system used to store, retrieve, view, and share patient medical records. The best of these systems have eight key capabilities:

1. Data Storage – Health information is stored in the database, and it is retrievable by healthcare professionals who need access to it in order to perform care for an individual. Such data includes medical diagnoses, personal health information such as allergies, test results, and prescribed medications.

2. Patient Management – All caregivers who need access to the records have them at their fingertips quickly for the purpose of patient safety and treatment.

3. Order Management – All orders for tests, medications, visits, and surgeries are stored in an easy-to-read format that eliminates mistakes based on legibility and paper document handling.

4. Patient Support – A system of alerts and reminders helps health professionals maintain an efficient system of support for patients so they can be provided with the treatment they need when they need it.

5. Electronic Communication – The medical records can easily be sent to any healthcare provider who needs quick access to enhance the care given to patients.

6. Patient Access – Patients will have the ability to retrieve and view their medical records whenever they have the need. Interactive educational applications and information can also be delivered to specific patients at any time to be viewed from home at their leisure.

7. Administration – Electronic medical records will improve the efficiency and reliable of the electronic administration system.

8. Reporting – Data can be organized quickly and efficiently in order to comply with federal and state reporting regulations.

Benefits of Using Medical Record Electronic Data Systems

There are several benefits to using electronic medical records, some of which have already been discussed. These benefits include the following:

• Paper medical records and documents will be replaced with an electronic system that reduces legibility issues, misplacement, and retrieval/sharing time.
• Will be the final step in providing an electronically scheduled workflow for a totally streamlined process for the lifetime of an individual.
• Support for patient self-care and education can be implemented through the system.
• Patients can play a part in and have access to ordering information that includes prescriptions, monitoring, referrals, and lab work.
• Provides for an auditable and fully traceable information trail that can be analyzed to provide proper care, predict risks, and ensure quality care.

Barriers and Issues in Implementing Medical Record Electronic Data Systems

Most of the barriers in fully implementing a nationwide electronic medical record system are imagination-generated fears which have already proven to have been overcome in other industries. These barriers and issues to implementation include the following:

• The technology has never been used before in such a manner.
• It costs substantial money to implement and maintain.
• It requires an allocation of personnel resources.
• Security is breachable.
• It is not practical.
• It will be incompatible across different computer platforms.
• It is not ethical.
• Current common organizational structure cannot be supported.
• Quality of records is compromised.

Enquiring on Medical Record Electronic Data Systems

Ask your doctor, hospital, or other healthcare facility if they are currently using electronic medical records or if they plan to do so in the future. If they are in the majority of facilities in the U.S. still not using such a system, ask if there is a plan for implementation.

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