Technology Article Review
2 March 2014
Technology Article Review
Being new to the health care professions I am not very familiar with most of the technologies used today in our health care system and have also been fortunate enough to not need much care beyond a checkup here and there. However, being very interested in science I know how great the benefits of medical technology advancements can be to our nation and the world. I am choosing to focus on the technology of electronic health records (EHRs) as I feel they will greatly help patients and physicians once the transition from paper records is completed. There are many articles on this topic, but I chose to use one that incorporated a bit of the new health care law that recently when into effect. That law is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which is currently working to reform our health care system. The article The Affordable Care Act and Electronic Health Care Records: Can Technology Help Reduce the Cost of Health Care? is a good place to start when it comes to discussing desired affect EHRs could have on our health care system as well as the more likely reality. I chose this article because it discusses the costs of health care and how EHRs affect those costs.
In The Affordable Care Act and Electronic Health Care Records: Can Technology Help Reduce the Cost of Health Care? Fontenot brings up the importance of health care information technology (HIT) being used with the ACA as a lot of the information gathered initially will be in the digital form and can easily be used as a reference in the future (Fontenot, 2013). The argument she proposes is how to make EHRs and the use of HIT more cost effective. When the use of HIT was pushed towards the mainstream in the 1990s it was found that HIT did not cut costs as promised, it actually increased the overhead of many practices (Fontenot, 2013). While having digitized records would dramatically decrease the amount of paper used and space needed to store the records also decreased there were unforeseen costs such as needing servers to support so many computers as well as maintaining backups of everyone’s now digitized records (Fontenot, 2013). From this point Fontenot discusses some of the utopian models that insurance and technology companies are most likely using when assuming the costs and instant advantages of the implications of HIT and EHRs. Most of these models involve a scenario that just does not fit America. While many nations have implemented a national health care system, these nations are missing one huge factor that America possesses and that is our individualism. While being an individualistic nation has its disadvantages it also provided a huge advantage in the advancement of medical technology and practices. We as American’s are less willing to accept a cookie cutter treatment and regime just as Fontenot mentions:
If that were true, we would all be exercising seven hours a week, modifying our diet and there would be no smokers; if that were true we would all have an advanced directive, a will, an estate plan and provide our loved ones with both security and specific information about our wishes should we become incapacitated (p71 para 2).
Obviously most American’s do not conform to this regime so envisioning a health care system that would provide care to citizens such as these does not fit America. EHRs do, however, have huge advantages for both the physician and the patient and I feel once an affective system has been implemented they will be vital to our health care system. For physicians they claimed with the use of paper records it was difficult if not impossible to document all the information in a patients file, but with the use of EHRs a simple mouse click simplified the process (Fontenot, 2013). However, this more accurate documentation process did lead to high costs for some patients as all of the services were...
References: Fontenot, Sarah Freymann,B.S.N., J.D. (2013). The affordable care act and electronic health care
records. Physician Executive, 39(6), 72-74,76. Retrieved from
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