Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology Assignment example

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Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology Assignment


The term "meaningful use" implies the application of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology that has been certified in the course of the provision of quality healthcare to a patient. EHR technology the engagement between patients and family, improves care coordination, and ensures the security of patient's private information. Meaningful use is a Medicare and Medicaid program, and it provides incentives for care providers who use EHRs to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care. To access the benefits and avoid penalties, providers must follow laid down rules which specify the criteria for proof of effective use of EHRs. Meaningful use encourages providers to shift to electronic healthcare records from paper charts. Requirements for meaningful use require the provider to report on predetermined Clinical Quality Measures (CQM). These CQMs enable the healthcare providers to track various issues involved in patient care. On meeting the criteria for meaningful use, a provider is expected to follow and fulfill it over a ninety-day period, after that full calendar year. The system has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are the improvement of quality and effectiveness of patient's care, while the drawbacks involve the legal, financial and ethical dilemmas surrounding the system.

Patients' care is expensive, and the introduction of the EHRs can only compound the financial issues in health care provision. It is axiomatic that implementation and the maintenance of EHRs is a huge financial undertaking and someone will have to fund it. The cost for implementation and maintenance of EHRs is estimated at $40-$50,000 (pogue 1). For private organizations to fund EHRs, there must be enough profits to keep them motivated, while government funding will require increased expenditure on the government. Under the current system of by provider respondent model, most of the benefits are enjoyed healthcare payers rather than on the financiers of the EHRs implementation.

The requirement that EHRs health records be maintained for longer periods poses quite a financial challenge. For instance, health records of pediatric patients and minors must be maintained until the age of twenty-one years (American Academy of Pediatrics Practice Management Online 1). In the rapidly changing technological world, maintaining credible updated verifiable electronic data for this long will require quite an investment. At the same time, it is not clear how the data should change hands once age twenty-one is attained, or even what happens to the data in case the pediatrician retires.

Ethical issues revolve around ownership of protected health information especially in the light of easy accessibility and portability health information in EHRs. Healthcare providers are also burdened with the responsibility of informing the patients of the possibility unlawful access of their health information thus breaching their privacy rights (Rodwin 86-88).

Some Patients concerns over PHI disclosures through EHRs are valid following cases of copies of deidentified patient databases sold by EHR vendors such as Allscripts and GE to health service researchers, pharmaceutical companies and companies dealing with manufacture of medical …

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