University of Phoenix
HCS/578 Ethical, Legal and Regulatory Issues in Health Care
Harold Van Alstyne Ph.D
July 13, 2011
Debate on Electronic Medical Records
This paper will outline the pros and cons of Electronic Medical Records(EMR) in health care. EMR is information and data stored in a computer that contains a patients' information. This information includes a person's name, sex, marital status, age, weight, height, lifestyle, medical, surgical and medication history. This data is very sensitive and must be protected by everyone accessing it either for healthcare or billing purposes. Paper records have been used for centuries and their replacement by computer based records has been a slow process in healthcare. Other sectors such as finance, manufacturing and transport are ahead in computer records but the same penetration has not been achieved in healthcare.("OpenClinical," 2009). EMR is supposed to have patient's data readily available, enhance patient care and safety, save lives, improve communication and documentation among care givers.
The Ethics of Electronic Medical Records
The protection of EMR falls under the area of medical ethics and is guided by strict principles or standards that address: Autonomy, Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Fidelity, and Justice(Klemens, 2008). The principle of Autonomy includes an individual's right to be informed of all pertinent information related to his or her health. It also includes the person's right to be able to access their own records. Autonomy is breached when an authorized person accesses a patient's private information creating problems with confidentiality and security.
EMRs are justified because of their beneficence and are meant to be good to the patient. The good is attributed to the patient's increase in access to their care, including quality care. The more access the patient has to their medical records,... [continues]
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