The Efficacy of Electronic Medical Records in Healthcare
The health care system has showed a rapid growth in the technology used to support medical care. The current feature of healthcare that is receiving a technology face-lift is medical records. Hard-copy paper based traditional medical records can only be read by one person at a time and it must be in their possession physically. It is difficult to store and retrieve documents, requiring space, time and effort. Records can be inaccurate, lack clinical sensibility and specificity, while poor indexing of data makes finding of information difficult or impossible to achieve. Healthcare data is progressively accumulated, collecting information of individuals starting at pre-birth to post-death that meets the requirements for any clinical setting (Lou, 2006). Many healthcare facilities are replacing traditional medical records with electronic medical records (EMRs) in order to manage and store large volume of data. EMR captures the storage, retrieval, and modification of records with the associated information processing and knowledge support tools necessary for managing the healthcare system. Using secure login information provides exchange access between patients, physicians, and other providers. EMRs have increased quality and efficiency in health services, reduced physician workload, and medical errors while saving the U.S. healthcare system major paper expenses (Kumar & Aldrich, 2010).
I volunteer three times a week at Kaiser Permanente, which is located at 30116 Eigenbrodt Way, Union City, CA 94587. I work in the TPMG Controller’s Office Department under the supervision of Ms. Sylvia Delacadena, Business Services Manager. Volunteering has demonstrated my passion in becoming a medical and health services manager and has helped me find ways to better coordinate the delivery of quality care in a healthcare facility.
Method As a volunteer, I am responsible for assisting supervisors in printing out lists of Medicare patients in the Hayward, Union City, and Fremont area. Based on the list, I search for patients’ medical records electronically by keying their medical record number (MRN) and take note of the date of their office visit with their primary care physician (PCP). I also record upcoming appointments with PCPs, or outpatient, inpatient, and emergency admissions on record. Then, I record all the changes I have made into an Excel document and email the file to the supervisor. Another task assigned to me was to keep track of employees who have completed specific trainings they are required to take.
Literature Review and Analysis
EMR is a computerized storage of all healthcare data that allows retrieval and modification of records with the support tools necessary for managing the health enterprise system (Hannan, 1996). Patients are assigned a specific MRN so that EMRs can provide the electronic organizational structure for different types of clinical and administrative activities performed in hospital settings and physician practices (Miller & Sim, 2004) requiring a disciplined, well-trained staff. Studies show the benefits of electronic documentation as access to health information data, prescription and test ordering, care management reminders, and messaging, among other EMR functions (Malakar, 2006). Electronic documentation improves chart availability, data organization, and legibility (Miller & Sim, 2004). EMR accessing capabilities allows healthcare staff to spend less time finding, reviewing, and filing patients’ charts.
Although there are numerous advantages to the use of EMR, there are also risks and disadvantages. The adaption of the EMR system of a facility can be costly based on the functionality of the system (Luo, 2006). In the U.S., the estimated cost of the adaption of the EMR system across healthcare…