May 31, 2014
CheckPoint: HIPAA and Information Technology
The advantage of a standardized medical records database is that it will allow other practices to link a patient’s medical data by accessing various application programs. Standardizing medical records increase patient safety, improve the quality of care and add greater efficiency. In times past, medical staff could not clearly understand the physician’s handwriting and ran the risk of giving the wrong medication to patients. In the unforeseeable event of a terrorist attack involving the medical world, the use of standardized databases allows the physician to communicate important information to his or her patients within a timely manner. An additional advantage is patient safety and the quality of care. Electronic Health Records saves time when there is a need for results in tests, the filling of prescriptions, or reviewing a patient’s health information at a glance. History speaks of the time when physicians were forced to look through paper charts and possibly have to deal with missing patient data.
Slovensky (2003) noted, “Data stored in databases are organized in logical and physical configurations. For example, all data elements needed to process a patient’s bill would be grouped” (p 126). Other advantages are stored information such as patient demographics, or patient’s financial obligations are stored each in its own database fields. Information in the area of diagnostic, procedures and diagnoses will all be included in its own database. The quality of care is more effective. Sanderson (2010) stated, “Electronic health records make it possible for providers to deliver more effective care to patients based on a complete picture of their past and present conditions” ( p 39).
Issues that may arise related to HIPAA involve the loss of patient data and stolen devices, because of portable computing and storage devices. Other issues that can arise are the possibility of stolen information, which would be a breach in computer networks resulting in patients’ medical records becoming breached. HIPAA requires providers to follow strict guidelines or