In the Canadian health care system, the need for accountability and accurate record-keeping is key. With that in mind, an effective electronic medical records system must be implemented; it could mean the difference between life and death. The electronic health record (EHR) is a relatively new science, but an exciting one, and this presentation is meant to state the many advantages of implementing an EHR structure in the Canadian health care system.
EHR is defined as a systematic database in which all patients and populations have their medical histories and records, providing a comprehensive, universal database that is easy to read, simple, and accessible to everyone within the health care system. At least six major countries implement EHR in some fashion (America, the UK, Australia, Canada, Estonia, the UAE, and elsewhere), making it a prevalent form of medical records-keeping in many developed countries. The EHR system works by allowing whoever purchases it access to the software and databases included within it, as well as the ability to submit new information about a patient.
Advantages of EHR
EHR carries with it incredible advantages, ones which should make it clear to the Canadian government that it should be implemented. For one, cost reduction is paramount - in the US, implementation of EHR would save Medicare $23 billion a year, and private payers would save more than that (Hillestad et al., 2005). It safely stores medical information, making it impossible to lose - no more worries about lost paperwork. It would make medical facilities increasingly paperless, both saving money on office supplies and making the office more environmentally friendly. It would also increase the convenience of checking out a comprehensive record of an individual patient, accumulating all the health records from the time they were born.
Appeal to Canadian Government
With these incredible benefits in mind, the Canadian government must be lobbied to include the EHR program into their health care system. Computerization of medical records would have all the advantages stated previously, and it would save the government millions of dollars a year to have this simple, effective, universal means of medical record storage become a fixture in the Canadian health care system. Data security measures can be implemented to protect private information (Comini et al., 2009). What's more, patient care and overall care of governmental constituents would be ensured at a cost-effective level (Aware, Inc., 2009). While the implementation of EHR adoption can be a long and grueling process, the end result would be well worth the effort (Robert Johnson Foundation, 2006).
In conclusion, the Canadian government must be lobbied to include EHR in their health care system. It provides substantially improved quality of patient care at a greatly reduced cost to the taxpayer, and it would allow for greater comprehensiveness of medical records. Having a universal, easy to access database for medical records has the potential to save many lives; this is why the Canadian government must take these measures immediately.
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data access and preservation. Digital Preservation Europe. Briefing Paper.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2006). Health information technology in the United States:
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Hillestad, R., Bigelow, J., Bower, A., Girosi, F., Meill, R., Scoville, R., & Taylor, R. (2005). Can
electronic medical record systems transform health care? Potential health benefits,
savings, and costs. Health Affairs 24(5): 1103-1117.