Health Information Exchange

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An electronic health record is a patient’s medical information stored elect-ronically instead of on paper. The concept has been around since the 1960s. Improvement of patient medical care was and is the catalyst for the electronic health record.

There are several advantages to using electronic health records. For instance, access to patient medical records is not limited to the location of the paper chart, but is available at the patient point of care. The health care provider has up-to-date information regarding every aspect of the patients medical history. Including test results, medications, allergy information, ect. All of which are crucial for making informed medical decisions.

Patient safety and better patient care are also advantages of the electronic health record. Illegible handwritten notes, orders, and prescriptions has been eliminated with the EHR. Now, reports to specialists or patients are comprehensible, professional, and easy to create. And because of the availability of more thorough clinical information, improved patient care is inevitable.

Another advantage to the EHR is efficiency and financial savings. The elimination of paper charts alone can greatly reduce the costs of storage and retrieval for these charts. Another major source of growth in healthcare costs comes from medical imaging. Access to patients images in an EHR is an effective way to avoid duplicating expensive imaging procedures. Another cost to healthcare is the printing and mailing of checks. If all medical payment transactions were handled electronically, America could save up to $11 billion annually.

For all these reasons that I have listed, I think that the advantages of Electronic Health Records far out weigh the disadvantages. The health care industry is rapidly evolving and the implementation of EHR is crucial in order for clinics and physicians to maintain extensive patient documentation to ensure that they meet...
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