Introduction to Health Care System

Topics: Health care provider, Health care, Medical record Pages: 5 (1662 words) Published: July 18, 2011
The explosion of information technology has opened a new realm of communication and information technology. This has given enlightenment and development to many fields which affect our lives directly or indirectly, these does not exclude medical record system. A medical record in general is a systematic documentation of a single patient's long-term individual medical history and care. The term 'Medical record' is used both for the physical folder for each individual patient and for the body of information which comprises the total of each patient's health history. (Moyle, 1976). The information contained in the medical record allows health care providers to provide continuity of care to individual patients. It also serves as a basis for planning patient care, documenting communication between patient, the health care provider and any other health professional contributing to the patient's care, thereby assisting in protecting the medical needs. Personal health records combine many of the above features with portability, thus allowing a patient to share medical records across providers and health care system. In addition, the medical record may serve as a document to educate medical students / resident physicians, to provide data for internal hospital auditing and quality assurance, and to provide data for medical research (Mersey Care NHS Trust, 2003). A patient's individual medical record identifies the patient and contains information regarding the patient's entire case history. The health records as well as any electronically stored variant of the traditional paper files contain proper identification of the patient. Further information varies with the individual medical history of the patient. ("Use of Electronic Health Records in U.S. Hospitals," New England Journal of Medicine, March 25, 2009). Medical record can be in two forms, paper based medical record, and electronic medical record. The former is the present system commonly used especially in the case study mentioned above, it is a system where by patients’ records are filled in paper, used and kept in a storage location while the latter, which is the proposed system for the Health Care Centre, Obafemi Awolowo University is the storing of patients’ medical record electronically. 1.1.3PROPOSED ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD SYSTEM

An electronic medical record (EMR) refers to an individual patient’s medical record in digital format. Electronic health record system co-ordinate the storage and retrieval of individual records with the aid of computers. Among the many forms of data often included in EMR are patients’ demographics, medical history, medicine and allergy lists and laboratory test result, billing records and advanced directives. (Linder et al, 2007). The envisioned system will be a fully automated point of care scheme which utilizes information technology infrastructure to integrate patient records into a comprehensive relational database through a program’s interactive interface developed with an object oriented programming language.

The major challenge for this project is to design an automated medical record system to replace the existing archaic manual medical record system which is associated with poor legibility and can contribute to medical errors. The manual state of processing in the health centre is a great challenge that calls for a need to design and develop flexible and efficient methods of accessing and manipulating medical records (patients’ information) in real time. The existing manual system causes acquiring of a large storage space to be another challenge, files, documents, forms calls for digitalization.

This project is aimed at designing and implementing an electronic medical record system for Health Care Centre, Obafemi Awolowo University.

The project objectives are; to study and analyze the existing manual...
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