[ Thursday, June 26, 2008 ]
This looks promising:
The trouble with electronic medical records is getting people within the healthcare business, particularly providers, to use them. There are a couple of legitimate fears -- the "betamax" fear, where a provider doesn't want to invest in the "wrong" EMR; the "culture" fear, which is just inertia in dealing with paper records, and the "privacy" fear, which derives from the fact that electronically stored information is much more susceptible to improper access, disclosure or use than paper records. The benefits of electronic records are obvious -- hurricane Katrina showed how helpful it could be to have electronic records. But the problem is the privacy issue, and that's a fear that a lot of patients have, too (the privacy Nazis biggest concern). And if you've got one patient that doesn't want his/her records electonic, do you: just opt them out and keep them in paper, running two record systems; fire the patient; or force the patient into your EMR and let them leave if they don't want in?
The way around the issue may simply be taking the issue away from the providers and giving it to the patients, in the way of an EHR. EHRs differ from EMRs; EMRs are whole hospital or physician medical records, with all tests, xrays, progress notes and the like. EHRs are more like a memorialization of the intake information you fill out when you first visit a doctor: your general health history , family health history, operations you have had, diseases/illnesses/ailments you suffer from, medication you take, etc. Not as complete as an EMR, but delivering a lot of the benefits of having a medical record handy in case of an emergency.
Well, it looks like EHRs have taken a big step forward
. This should help.
Jeff [7:52 AM]
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