The term EHR implies gathering all the patient information available in the medical organization in an electronic form. Thus, medical data may be further integrated into the electronic medical record in the group relating to, for instance, a particular disease case (outpatients) or to a particular hospital (for patient treatment) case. Despite the usability and the intention of the government to promote such systems as EHR, healthcare providers as well as patients, find a lot of pros and cons in applying them.
Despite the active development and wide application of EHRs, there are many issues related to the computerization of this sphere. One of the key problems is the mismatch of information systems to their requirements. Many health care providers are not satisfied with the established EHR system. They are dissatisfied with the protection of data, lack of decision support, lack of support for the necessary documentation, system failures, and unavailability of tools integration, particularly at a time when compatibility requires tough control (Longest & Darr, 2014). Another problem is linked to the amount of time a specialist has to spend on the use of information systems. The fact that a doctor is forced to spend every day 3-4 hours of working time on medical information systems results in longer working hours for the care providers. Due to these reasons, many specialists and medical facilities prefer to refuse to participate in health informatics programs and pay fines.
In addition, many patients perceive this approach as an invasion into their private lives and consider that the information gathered by the system can be used against them afterward despite the legislative practices aimed at securing the transmission of the patient data (Lustig, 2012). Further, patients consider that the application of EHRs is a method of state intervention. Moreover, many people are bothered by the fact that their personal records containing their personal and medical history can be hacked; subsequently, the security of such systems is highly questioned.
Nevertheless, many supporters of the EHR application consider that it can transform health care services into more effective care provision. One of the points is that the usage of EHRs contributes to cost-efficiency (Longest & Darr, 2014). It facilitates higher coordination of the services and, in fact, saves time for clinicians and administrators when previously they had to spend a lot of time filling in and looking through a variety of different papers, now the single platform entails all the necessary information needed for the employees. Also, as the application of the system facilitates quicker access to patient information, it ensures quicker care provision and reduces the possibility of medical error, which shall be perceived as a crucial patient outcome (Lustig, 2012). Apart from that, it is a convenient way in terms of situations when a patient is referred to several clinicians. The specialists will be provided with the necessary tests and procedures by the EHR.
In conclusion, EHRs have both advantages and disadvantages. Despite the fact that people question the system’s security and that there is no standardized format for the patient data compilation (which leads to incompatibility and inability to access the records), it does facilitate quicker access to the data and decreases the possibilities of medical mistakes. In addition, it ensures the safety of the patient data in case of a natural disaster. Thus, if the system has a unified approach and security is guaranteed, it can solve a number of existing health care issues.
Longest, B. B., & Darr, K. (2014). Managing health services organizations and health systems (6th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press.
Lustig, T. A. (2012). The role of telehealth in an evolving health care environment – workshop summary. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.