Friday, 10 February 2012


Electronic Medical Records in New York
New York’s Regional Extension Centers (RECs) has enabled over 10,000 doctors to adopt Electronic Medical Records by end year 2011. The main beneficiaries being primary care providers and small practices who struggle with the acquisition cost and implementation of the electronic system. These professionals are required to undergo a program where they are taught how to implement and put the system in to meaningful use that qualifies them to get reimbursements by the federal and state. This in return improves the quality and coordination of care for all patients across the state coupled with reduced operating costs. Most health care providers attest to Meaningful Use, regardless of their current EMR status. If all states and governments could adapt this kind of program then all patients world wide would benefit tremendously since these practitioners learn the art of time management, maximization of resources using the electronic records.

The Emr System at My Hospital
Ever since my hospital installed the emr system, I have had better services. I do not know what this program does all I know is that when I go to the lab, I do not have to wait for the results which sometimes are mixed up with others, but rather just show up at the doctors office and my prescription is ready. You see, I get exhausted from walking several kilometers to get to the hospital for my ARV medication. Before the hospital started using this application, it would take me two days to complete my journey back and forth. Now it is just a one-day journey while my experience at the hospital has become more enlightening and I always look forward to the next visit. Long gone are the days when I would queue for hours from one department to another. This program is a must have for all hospitals.

The benefits of using Electronic Medical Records
If there is a hospital out there that does not use Electronic Medical Records then, it must be losing on a lot of precious time that could be saved with this efficient system. Apart from the program keeping medical records, it offers quick, easy retrieval of data not to mention automated analysis of patient’s conditions. The records kept are clear and legible compared to handwritten records. We all know how doctors write; some of their writing is barely legible and the records kept may be incomplete and/or fragmented due to the paper-based system. The best part of the electronic program is that it can be accessed anywhere and anytime with accurate, up to date, shareable information as long as you have access to the internet. Given that it is electronic, it takes up little space and requires less administrative resources thus, makes great savings financially.

Privacy and confidentiality of the Electronic Medical Records
I cannot help but wonder about the privacy and confidentiality of these Electronic MedicalRecords that are now widely used by medics across the globe. These records can be accessed anywhere, anytime and by anyone (those who know how to). Let us face it, scholars use these records to do their research while hackers are on the loose. Do they offer any data protection policies? Do they have any in-built security features? Did the paper-based system offer better protection? Even before I could give another thought to these questions, I was presented with a system that can only be accessed by the authorized user’s fingerprint. Well, I guess this program is even better when it comes to confidentiality and security than I first thought. Going forward, I seek to understand how the paper-based system offered any data protection, security and confidentiality considering files could disappear!

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