ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS (EHR)
Electronic Health Record is also referred to as Electronic Patient Record. It comprises the electronic data of patients that include demographics, medication, allergies and medical history (Stead, 2010). This kind of information is can be shared by different health cares if it is in shared network. The advantages of such a system is that a patient can be treated effectively in any medical facility because the doctors or nurses will be able to retrieve the medical history of the person from the database which can shed more light as to the current condition the patient may be suffering from. It also shortens the time taken by the administration to admit a patient because personal details of the patient are available if the patient has been treated before. This essay is a discussion on attributes that a. electronic health record should have in a hospital, private practice, community health and the residential aged care facility and looking at their differences and similarities.
The EHR should enable data collection and also be able to do regular checking to support regulatory and authorization requirements. It should also give information pertaining different departments like the ICU, emergency, admission, diagnostic and the pharmacy. This would enable patients to know services offered in each department. It should be possible for computers within the hospital to access the health records from any department to facilitate treatment and diagnosis. The EHR should support both audio and visual records from departments such as surgery and psychology unit and other interviews that the doctor or patient would like to revisit so that it is easier to track errors made during diagnosis and correct them.
The system should ensure that private doctors and physicians can communicate with patients at home so that home based treatment is monitored. It should also enable documentation of the demographics of the patient (Terry, 2010).
The EHR system should be able to register the demographics of the patient that include address, name, age, primary language and gender. The EHR should support calculation of fees and billings of patients who get treated at community health centers so that health fees can be adjusted depending on the financial situation of the patient. This will be possible if the system allows recording of the housing status of the patient in addition to ethnicity (California Health Care Foundation, 2007). The population served by community health services is huge and so the EHR should enable storage of personal patient information to enable follow up of the treatment being provided to the patient by giving the patient a unique identifier. The EHR system should also be able to link data appropriately and maintain its integrity. The system should allow patients to record individually and by family. It should be possible for the patient to have more than one guarantor without necessarily having multiple accounts and it should also differentiate between the patients and the guarantors.
Residential aged care
The EHR system should be able to document the treatment being received by the patients since most patients at advanced age can forget. It should also contain information that would be helpful to the care givers. It should be possible for patients to access their information and should facilitate transfer of patients to other facilities.
According to Tang (2003), an effective EHR should have health information of patients and allow access by authorized personnel. This information should include patient’s medication, diagnosis, laboratory checkup results and any other important health information. This would enhance the ability of the caregiver to reach a medical conclusion faster. The EHR should be able to manage results that would enable different care givers and physicians attending to the patient to quickly access the results for proper diagnosis of a patient. It would be helpful if the EHR has order management where the doctors and other care givers can enter the prescriptions and tests so that this procedure is not repeated by the pharmacist to improve the speed and accuracy in executing orders (Handler, Holtmeier, Metzger, Overhage, Taylor & Underwood, 2010). It should be characterized by decision support that include reminders, alerts and prompts to improve compliance and identify possible drug interactions in addition to hastening the process of diagnosis and treatment.
The EHR should include patient support where patients can access their medical records and enable them to also conduct self-testing which will assist in management of conditions like diabetes. Patient support can help care givers monitor home treatment of the patient. Attributes that support scheduling and administration would improve the efficiency in health care systems. Reporting factor would be helpful in making sure that health care organizations respond quickly to state, federal or private requirements to enable disease surveillance and ensure the safety of the patient. For an EHR to be useful to all health providers and care givers, it should have enabled electronic communication and connectivity to enable access for authorized personnel wherever they may be. It should enhance sharing of research and discoveries among health providers to improve health care systems (National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources, 2006).
California Health Care Foundation. (2007). EHR selection toolkit for community health
centers. Retrieved 15 April 2011, from, http://www.chcf.org/~/media/Files/PDF/E/PDF%20EHRSelectionToolkitCHCs.pdf
Handler, T., Holtmeier, G., Metzger, J., Overhage, M., Taylor, S. and Underwood, C., (2010). Electronic Health Record Attributes and Essential Requirements. Retrieved 15 April 2011, from: https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_91554_1&frame=top
National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources, (2006). Electronic Health Records Overview. Retrieved 15 April 2011, from: http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/publications/informatics/ehr.pdf
Stead, W. W. (2010). Electronic health records. Information Knowledge Systems Management.8, 119-133.
Tang, P., (2003). Key Capabilities of an Electronic Health Record System: Letter Report. Retrieved 15 April 2011, from, https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_91554_1&frame=top
Terry, K. (2010) State EHR Mandates. Retrieved 15 April 2011, from, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:mYacX8TBBDQJ:www.physicianspractice.com/technology/content/article/1462168/1642903+private+practice+ehr+attributes&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ke&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.co.ke