Technology has revolutionized many sectors by introducing new ways of doing things that enhance efficiency. One such technology is electronic health records (EHR), which is used in the health care system to store patient information (Clinical advantages of Electronic Health Records (EHR), n.d.). Since its introduction, the system has benefited many patients and healthcare providers.
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The Kendall Regional Medical Center uses an electronic health record (EHR) known as the Meditech system. To find its effectiveness, I interviewed people from three departments namely maternal and child health, laboratory, and out-patient. The results of the interview revealed several pros and cons of using the current HER system.
The benefits of using the current system include quick access to patient records, secure transfer, and dissemination of information, legible and complete documentation, improved communication and interaction between patient and health care provider, enhanced productivity and efficiency, lower costs of storing information, enhanced security and privacy of patient data, as well as enhanced accuracy and retrieval of information (Amatayakul & Lazarus, 2005). Patients and healthcare providers enjoy different benefits.
Caregivers experience better efficiency and productivity while patients enjoy improved health care and more privacy concerning their medical information (Hamilton, 2012). The Meditech system has fewer errors in comparison to paper documentation. Therefore, information is more legible and accurate. On the other hand, the system facilitates the retrieval of information. As a result, doctors find it easy to monitor and track patients. All the people that I interviewed stated that the system allows them to establish and maintain effective clinical workflows and as a result, enhance their productivity and efficiency.
The users of the Meditech system reported improved quality of patient care. They attributed the high quality of care to factors such as enhanced interaction and communication between healthcare providers and patients, more accurate diagnosis, fast dissemination of information, and reduced medical errors. For instance, workers in the maternal and child health department stated that the system lowers cases of infant mortality by reducing medical errors and facilitating fast access to patient information.
The system allows caregivers to retrieve required information regarding a mother’s medical in an effective manner. The use of EHR greatly improves communication between physicians and patients (Gartee, 2007). Storage of data in electronic form allows physicians to conduct an in-depth evaluation of patients and make diagnosis decisions fast (Gartee, 2007). Nurses reported that electronic health records enhance the process of monitoring and tracking patients’ recovery. A physician can share information with other providers involved in the care of a certain patient without compromising the quality of medical care provided.
Workers in the laboratory stated that EHR facilitates the timely dissemination of test results to physicians for review with patients. In that regard, care providers can respond to patients on time and save lives (Benefits of Electronic Health Records, n.d.). The system is critical during emergencies because physicians can retrieve any information they require about a patient’s medical history and as a result, save their life (Clinical advantages of Electronic Health Records (EHR), n.d.).
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Amatayakul, M. K., & Lazarus, S. S. (2005). Electronic Health Records: Transforming Your Medical Practice. New York, NY: Medical Group Management.
Gartee, R. (2007). Electronic Health Records: Understanding and Using Computerized Medical Records. New York, NY: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Hamilton, B. (2012). Electronic Health Records. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.