Electronic Health Records and Patient Confidentiality Technology has become an essential part of our everyday life therefore, it makes sense that doctors and hospitals get rid of the old fashioned paper charting and use technology to access patient records. Electronic health records (EHR) provide quick access to information, as doctors no longer have to wait for other providers to fax previous records to them. The accessibility of Electronic Health Records assist medical providers to make quick medical care decisions, by accessing previous care provided to patients including treatment and diagnosis. Quick access to information through EHR enables health care providers to treat patients faster as there is no need for records to be mailed or
Therefore, they have a moral, legal, and ethical duty to protect the sensitive information that they come across as they conduct diagnostic tests or take patients through treatment procedures (American Health Information Management Association, 2008). Within the context of electronic health records, the AHIMA documentation guidelines offer a high degree of control to prevent unauthorized access to such sensitive information. Accuracy, consistency, and completeness of clinical information are highly regarded since they assist in proper coding and reporting of information, which facilitate proper and accurate medical care (Parman, 2014). The documentation guidelines also support the report of all the necessary healthcare elements, such as diagnostic and procedure codes, since the information is required for external reporting. In case of conflict, ambiguity, or incomplete information, health care providers are supposed to clarify through writing or verbally to eliminate medical errors that may put the patients’ lives in jeopardy.
Healthcare providers and organizations are obligated and bound to protect patient confidentiality by laws and regulations. Patient information may only be disclosed to those directly involved in the patient’s care or those the patient identifies as able to receive the information. The HIPAA Act of 1996 is the federal law mandating healthcare organizations and clinicians to safeguard patient’s medical information. This law corresponds with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act to include security standards for protecting electronic health information. The healthcare organization is legally responsible for establishing procedures to prevent data
(2013) Health LAW & Medical ETHICS for Healthcare Professionals. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. Freudenheim, Milt (2012).The Ups and Downs of Electronic Medical Records. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/the-ups-and-downs-of-electronic-medical-records-the-digital-doctor.html?pagewanted=all Hsieh, Paul (2014). Can you trust What's in Your Electronic Medical Record?
With the use of EHR comes the opportunity for patients to receive improved coordinated care from medical professions and easier access to their health data. The author identifies views about the problems of EHR and the legislation. Health care professionals understand and accept the obligations under the Privacy and Security, patient’s information can still be at breached if those involved in patient health do not make sure that their information is secured. There is an increased risk of privacy violations with EHR if used improperly. Even though there are legislations in place to protect patient’s information, data still can be easily accessed either intentionally or accidental by using improper security measures.
Electronic health record (EHR) system transformed the health care system from a paper based industry to one that uses clinical information to provide higher quality of care to the patients by providers. Electronic medical records have many benefits in clinical, organizational and societal outcomes. Clinical outcomes includes improvements in the quality of care and reduction of medical errors. Organizational outcomes include, financial and operational performance as well as higher satisfaction among patients and clinicians. Societal outcomes include, conduct research and attain improved population health.
Most health care organizations are trying to develop integrated computer-based information-management surroundings. The EHR as an integrated system is expected to be accessible, confidential, secure and acceptable to patients and clinicians. It should be integrated with other type of useful information to help in planning and problem solving. The EHR is also expected to monitor patient safety. EHR system can bring about positive effects when the technologies are designed, implemented and used appropriately.
The communication may include (1) the educational background of the physician, (2) the basis on which fees are determined (including charges for specific services), (3) available credit or other methods of payment, and (4) any other nondeceptive information (American Medical Association “AMA” Code of Medical Ethics’ Opinion on Physician Advertising, 2010).
Most people don’t think to worry or wonder where all of their information goes when they visit the doctor’s office, or how the doctor knew things about them from several years ago. They don’t ask the question especially when they go to a new doctor who knows the same thing about them that they’ve never talked about. Electronic Health Records, also known as EHR’s, are becoming some of the most important parts of medical offices around the country and are advancing more and more each day. Ever since the 80’s, EHR’s were being designed and formed, but not until 2009, when the HITECH Act came out, did they start becoming of key importance to the health care market. As they keep growing more and more each day, EHR’s are becoming vital to patient health.
Electronic health records are essential in allowing physicians to monitor their patients’ health, notice trends, and potentially prevent hospital readmissions, quickly diagnose diseases, and reduce medical errors. This is the first in a series of blog posts where we ask the question “What is Meaningful Use of an EHR?” In this post, we interview a physician at a family practice to learn more about how he is meaningfully using his EHR to coordinate patient care, prevent a hospital readmission and ultimately improve patient health. On the day we spoke, Dr. Frank Maselli of Riverdale Family Practice in the Bronx had just finished seeing 30 patients.
•Despite of the advancement in the field of technology there is more threat to the privacy and confidential information of individuals for both the health providers and the consumers. •The healthcare environment is occupied with cultures, subcultures, and traditions and the implementation of an EHR can be disruptive to the socio-cultural system. • A large amount of time, effort is accumulated by the workers for entering the health information into the new system of EHR which could have been used in providing better care and satisfaction for the patients.
This interoperability weave is crucial in facilitating communication across provider organizations involved in patient care through secure and reliable information exchange. • RECs provide support for privacy and security of health information. Ensuring privacy and security is vital in building trust in order to realize the potential benefits of health information exchange. If there are perceived or actual risks in the accuracy and completeness of health information, individual’s willingness to disclose necessary health information may be tampered with. • Assistance in workflow redesign and analysis • Training in EHR: selection, implementation, support, project management and financial consultation.
The ROI of EHRs article breaks down the importance of Electronic health records. Healthcare leaders need to have an open-mind about electronic health records to gain a better organized system. Health organizations spend billions trying to find a working system instead of changing to the electronic health records system. Most organizations are making their IT department play bigger role working along with physicians to make electronic health records a key component of healthcare facilities making EHRs an effective program. Electronic Health Records are important to improving the quality of care provided, being able to find a patients history of care at a click of a button.