Barriers to Implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system| [Type the document subtitle]|
By AshleyRose Allen|
The security issues of paper and electronic health record systems and the issues to be considered when converting to an EHR system. |
Barriers to Implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system
Barriers to implementing an EHR system
Below is a list of ten things that are true barriers for most health care organizations today. Please review the list and decide which barrier your organization is facing. The first step is to acknowledge the issue(s) and then you can tackle them head on. Good luck.
#1 Difficulty in adding older records to an EHR system
Today there are organizations that pick a start date and then implement their new EHR system but older paper medical records ought to be incorporated into a patient’s electronic health record. One method of doing this is to merely scan the documents and retain them as images. However, surveys suggest that 22-25% of physicians are less satisfied with records systems that use scanned documents alone rather than fully electronic data-based systems. The reason is that they are hard to read. EHR systems with image archival capability are able to integrate these scanned records into fully electronic health records systems. This method makes the record more complete. Another method is to convert written records (such as notes) into electronic format is to scan the documents then perform optical character recognition. For typed documents, accurate recognition may only achieve 90-95%, though, requiring extensive corrections. Furthermore, illegible handwriting is poorly recognized by optical character readers. This means that there might be some records that are hard to read. Some states have proposed making existing statewide database data (such as immunization records) available for download into individual electronic medical records. This would make this process easier and more beneficial for the health care provider and the patient. #2 Long-term preservation and storage of records
Most organizations do not really think of preservation of the EHR record. An important consideration in the process of developing electronic health records is to plan for the long-term preservation and storage of these records. The field will need to come to consensus on the length of time to store EHRs, methods to ensure the future accessibility and compatibility of archived data with yet-to-be developed retrieval systems, and how to ensure the physical and virtual security of the archives. Considerations about long-term storage of electronic health records are complicated by the possibility that the records might one day be used longitudinally and integrated across sites of care. Records have the potential to be created, used, edited, and viewed by multiple independent entities. These entities include, but are not limited to, primary care physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, and patients. The required length of storage of an individual electronic health record will depend on national and state regulations, which are subject to change over time. Requirements for the design and security of the system and its archive will vary and must function under ethical and legal principles specific to the time and place. While it is currently unknown precisely how long EHRs will be preserved, it is certain that length of time will exceed the average shelf-life of paper records. The evolution of technology is such that the programs and systems used to input information will likely not be available to a user who desires to examine archived data. One proposed solution to the challenge of long-term accessibility and usability of data by future systems is to standardize information fields in a time-invariant way, such as with XML language. #3 Synchronization of records
When care is provided at two different facilities, it may be...