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Communication And Information Technology Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

Communication and Information Technology
Holly B. Fannin
HCA 320
May 2, 2011
Sharon W. Williams

Communication and Information Technology
Health care has been greatly transformed by modern communication technology. Electronic medical records are the computerized medical records of a patient established and kept by an organization such as hospital, physician offices or other health care centers. Electronic medical records are widely seen by healthcare policy makers and service managers alike as a key step in the achievement of more efficient and integrated healthcare services (Hartswood, Proctor, Rouncefield & Slack, 2003). Electronic medical records were designed to enhance the ...view middle of the document...

(Gurley, 2004) EMRs also create a more accurate and up-to-date medical portrait of the patient. EMRs can also allow the viewer to filter information allowing a custom view presenting only information that is relevant to a specialized viewer.
Disadvantages
A disadvantage with the EMR system has been viewed as an extended learning curve. Learning and operating the EMR system can be daunting and it is beneficial to have staff that has technical knowledge when first implementing the system. User-friendly software has yet to be completely incorporated into the EMR system. Many of the companies that produce this software are becoming aware that EMR must be user friendly otherwise this system will not easily accepted (Gurley, 2004). The cost of software, staffing to implement the software and the time needed to transfer paper records to the electronic method can be an obstacle that many health care personnel are hesitant or not willing to approach.
Another concern is confidentiality and security of the electronic system. Knowing that computerized system can be “hacked” from the outside, an extensive security system must be put into place to prevent breeches of confidentiality without severely hampering those that have a need to know and a legitimate right to a patient’s information.
Another disadvantage presents itself in the way of differing systems within the EMR system. Not every facility and physician or specialist will have identical systems. So thought must be given to internal “gates” that will allow systems that are different to talk to each other and share information.
Financial Impact
As was mentioned in the disadvantages, the financial impact on an organization in implementing the EMR system can be staggering. Sort-term the impact will be thousands of dollars for the software, servers, and computers, In addition to these costs staff will need to be put into place to implement the system, convert existing paper records to electronic records and continued system maintenance and training as technology changes (Walker, 2005). Over the long term, EMRs will reduce the use of paper and the need for extra record storage space. The opportunity to keep extended patient records in one location also helps to increase the security of those records thereby reducing the possibility of lawsuits from lost or mishandled records. The ready accessibility of these records in completion will also help an organization to increase efficiency thereby allowing the possibility to see more patients.
Impact on Consumers
The introduction of EMRs has raised the concern for the consumer over the security of their medical information. As with many systems that collect and store electronic information, the possibility of an outsider hacking into a system and using information for identity theft or the selling of contact information to outside marketing firms is a concern. With this in mind...

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