February 25, 2013
There are a variety of communication methods available to consumers and health care providers. Electronic health records that are interconnected with patient portals are the most beneficial form of communication available to both the consumer and to the health care provider. This system combines electronic health records, electronic mail, and patient portals into one system. Electronic health record patient portals benefit consumers by allowing them easy access to both their health information but also to their medical provider. Comments can be sent through the system via electronic mail to the provider from the consumer concerning their health and wellbeing, appointments can be scheduled and cancelled, and referrals can be processed quickly (Bau, 2011). The more developed the program the more uses available to the patient and the provider. Medical errors can be reduced by the use of electronic health records and the patient can review any instructions that the provider gave them allowing for better control and involvement with their personal health (Bau, 2011). It is important for consumers and the medical provider to protect the confidentiality of electronic health records with patient portals connected to them. Unauthorized access to the information contained within the records can result in the patient having their health information broadcasted, insurance information being compromised, and the patient loosing trust in their medical provider. Medical providers can be held accountable for breaches of electronic health records. The Hi-tech Act allows for providers to be held financially accountable for the safety of the consumers’ medical records and the providers’ ability to work in the health care industry can be put at risk. Ensuring that only authorized individual’s access electronic health records and patient portals connected to these records allows for improved...