1. What is the happy side of the movement to get physicians to upgrade to HIT using EHRs?
In a world where technology constitutes a critical part of our everyday lives, Electronic Health Records EHRs are no exception. Using EHRs provide advantages over paper-based medical records. Some of these advantages include the availability of patient information from any authorized location at any given time (Health Administration Press, 2013). For physicians, access to this information reduces time when waiting for laboratory or radiology results, presents information in a organized manner, ensures the accuracy of information (e.g. about patient’s allergies), and provides information about the patient’s history including past and current taken medications (InfowayInforoute, 2011). Plus, the location of the patient will not matter, as soon as the new location includes at least one authorized health care center. If the patient moves or is on vacation and needs health care, his or her medical records are readily available to the treating physician (InfowayInforoute, 2011). This system also provides administrative advantages for providers, because EHRs contain information on billing and claims, and aggregates data about the overall performance of a given health care provider, thus allowing improvement (Health Administration Press, 2013).
2. What is the unhappy side of the same issue?
The main disadvantages of getting physicians to upgrade to HIT using EHRs are related to the need of training. Physicians must be trained into using software especially designed for EHRs and sometimes these software packages vary among vendors (Beck, 2014). This process involves time and money, as well as the active participation of clinicians. However, although approximately 85% of physicians use EHRs, only 24% think it increases efficiency (Beck, 2014). Clinicians argue that filling the EHRs slow them down and introducing data is time consuming, reducing the available time for patients (Beck, 2014). Then, there is the financial side. Aside from the money needed to set the system, and the costs of training, the federal government has designed an incentive program that offers hospitals and clinicians $35 billion as incentive payments, thus increasing the economic burden on the health care system (Beck, 2014).
Beck, M. (2014, September 16). AMA Urges Overhaul of Electronic Medical Records. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from http://online.wsj.com/articles/ama-urges-overhaul-of-electronic-records-1410840063
Health Administration Press. (2013). Chapter 9: Applications: Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Powerpoint Presentation.
[InfowayInforoute]. (2011, Junio 23). Why electronic health records?
[video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo_3qOejQzI&feature=share&list=TL6CiNVevsthc