Health Care Essay Sample on Electronic Health Register Report

Electronic Health Register Report

HIPAA and Electronic Health System

            Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed in 1996 in order to facilitate the protection of patients’ health records inclusive of the electronic ones. This is inclusive of other personal medical information about individuals. This Act assigns accountability for the security of the health data of the populations to the individuals and organisations that are responsible for the collection of such information (Tilden, 2008). The negligence and misuse of private medical information by individuals and organisations is the one that led to the legislation of this Act(See, 2003). It applies to the “covered entities” of health providers and other organisations and individuals related to health. Failure to adhere to the guidelines of this act can lead to civil and criminal penalties(Tilden, 2008). The introduction of these laws has prompted technology to develop towards the implementation of the same. The information systems built for health institutions are designed in way that prevents the exposure of private health information to unauthorised persons.

            Different levels of access are provided to individuals in the system of the health facility according to the privileges they have been granted in the health institution concerning the information of the clients(Tilden, 2008). As technology has advanced, the threats to the security of the information stored in health facility have increased and become more sophisticated. The earlier security measures might not prevail, hence the need for the information system of the institutions to get updated on a regular basis(See, 2003). The adoption of electronic registers brings with it the advantage of being able to streamline the flow of information and it is easier to control the persons allowed to access that information without having to enforce that physically. It is also easier to for the physician to plan and schedule the treatment of the patients effectively.

Trends in healthcare record keeping

            The electronic medical record is quickly replacing the paper charts that had earlier on been used by the physicians to tract the treatment and recovery process of the patients under their care. This EMR contains information on the treatment history of the patients and helps the care provider to determine the best treatment for a patient at a particular time and also in the provision of preventative treatments on those that are scheduled for that(Chen et al., 2013). It gives data on how the patients are doing on parameters that are inclusive of blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs in order to help in the improvement of the treatment of the patient(Soda et al., 2012). The EMR uses specialised software that the doctors use to input the patient data and make it available for reference in the future. The full history of the patients’ treatments is made available instantly at the bidding of the physician. The number of devices that a physician can use to access the EMR include the desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet and in recent times, the smartphones. Issues have however being raised on the use of smartphones to access data on the health of the patients due to the personal nature of that gadget to the health provider.

            As the patient information accumulates, good database management has become core to the safekeeping of that information on the servers of the health institution. From these servers, the information is easily retrieved as needed by the staff (Chen et al., 2013). The staff members in these institutions are the only ones that can have access to this information, and even among them the privileges granted differ according to their rank in the organisation(Soda et al., 2012). The electronic health registers and records are becoming optimised in order to make them available on a number of devices to the relevant personnel. This is done with an aim of improving the service delivery in time and quality as well.

Support to healthcare operations

            The authentication of the identity of persons needed before they can log in into the system of the medical institutions ensure that the medical data of the clients is protected from strangers and outsiders. Even within the staff in the medical facilities, there are restrictions in accordance with their positions, which make the medical information of the patients have the privacy it deserves. The quality of patient care delivery is highly improved by the use of electronic registration and recording (Weber-Jahnke & Mason-Blakley, 2011). The physicians are kept up to date on the treatment history of the patients and are also informed of any special conditions such as allergies, which would be very difficult to do in the older system of paper files. Having taken the history of the patient into consideration, the physician is then able to administer the best treatment available for the situation at hand. The calculation and administration costs of the treatment made is easier using the system and it is also the norm to contact the insurance companies in order to make claims in a very prompt manner(Chao, Hu, Ung&Cai, 2013). There is an unlimited retention rate of the records and information regarding the patients because electronic files and records occupy a radically lesser space that the traditional forms of paper registries. Increase capacity of storage is accompanied by easy retrieval of the patient records at the click of a button.

References

Chao, W., Hu, H., Ung, C., &Cai, Y. (2013). Benefits and Challenges of Electronic Health Record System on Stakeholders: A Qualitative Study of Outpatient Physicians. J Med Syst, 37(4).

Chen, L., Quinn, V., Xu, L., Gould, M., Jacobsen, S., &Koebnick, C. et al. (2013).The Accuracy and Trends of Smoking History Documentation in Electronic Medical Records in a Large Managed Care Organization.Subst Use Misuse, 48(9), 731-742.

See, M. (2003). The American Society for HIPAA* compliance presents: HIPAA SAP I, A HIPAA self-assessment program. ACC Current Journal Review, 12(3), 22-24.

Soda, P., Antani, S., Tortorella, F., Cannataro, M., Pechenizkiy, M., &Tsymbal, A. (2012).Trends in computer-based medical systems.ACM SIGHIT Record, 2(2), 46-50.

Tilden, S. (2008). Health Research and the HIPAA Privacy Rule.JAMA, 299(11), 1259

Weber-Jahnke, J., & Mason-Blakley, F. (2011).The safety of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems.ACM SIGHIT Record, 1(2), 13-22.