June 3, 2012
Kathy Loy, MBA
Communication Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
An electronic medical record (EMR) is the confidential, legal health record of an individual’s medical history. The EMR system is a way of storing, documenting, monitoring, and managing someone’s health care. Using EMRs for communication has increased over the years because it is a fast and efficient method to record and access crucial medical information. Providers and consumers benefit because access to records is practically instantaneous via the internet. EMRs improve the delivery of quality health care, help prevent medical errors, reduce costs, decrease paperwork, and increase access to important health data between providers. (Garets, & Davis, 2006). Maintaining Patient Confidentiality
However, because the patient information is transmitted via the internet, there is a concern for confidentiality breaches. EMR technology differs from other types of communication because EMR data is transmitted between EMR servers. These servers can be in the same building or across the world. The information transmitted is encrypted in a similar fashion as financial institutions encrypt their transactions (Mildon & Cohen 2001). The patient’s information is also protected by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. HIPAA is important to the privacy and security of health care information. The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individuals' protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. The HIPAA Security Rule improves the efficiency and security of e-PHI (electronic personal health information) by to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of e-PHI received, maintained or transmitted (HIPAA Security and Privacy, 2011). Health care providers are required to train all new employees within a reasonable time after hiring. The content of this training...