The problem in this case is the inefficiency of paper medical records and the need to switch medical records to an electronic system. Currently, paper medical records are extremely difficult for health care professionals to share with other medical professionals and record keeping of these files account for about 12 percent of all US health care spending. Paper claims also hold up insurance companies’ payments of claims, an electronic system would be able to send all information in real time and the patient could use their insurance card much like a credit card.
The people that are responsible for the difficulties in building an EMR database are the doctors and patients. The doctors are responsible because they realize that along with the system comes about twenty hours of training they will be required to attend to learn how to use the system properly. Doctors are already crunched for time and requiring them to spend any extra time on record keeping is always going to be met with reluctance. The patients are responsible because they are worried that an EMR may compromise the privacy of their medical records.
The organization that is responsible for the difficulties in establishing an EMR are the small doctor’s offices and hospitals with fewer than fifty beds around the country. An EMR typically costs between $30,000 to $50,000 to implement; this type of upfront cost can derail some of the smaller practices that are being required to convert to this type of system.
The technological factors that are responsible for the difficulties in establishing an EMR is the fact that all though there are government guidelines to what the system must contain, with so many different firms creating and implementing EMR there is no guarantee that data will be readily available from one system to another. The different firms may use different formats for the data that may not be compatible with a system that was implemented in another location.
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