Electronic Health Records and the Benefits of Going Paper-Less

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Submitted By Cindy07
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Electronic Health Records and the Benefits of Going Paper-less

U.S. health care industry is the world’s largest but also one of the most inefficient informational enterprises. It has been estimated that approximately $1.7 trillion are spent every year in healthcare within the U.S. Thus, many organizations still use the old procedure of storing medical records on paper. Hillestad et al. (2013) declare that storing records on paper can be inefficient when it comes “to coordinate care, measure quality, or reduce medical records” (p. 1). Also, with the use of the old method, healthcare professional may lack the necessary information about costs or quality, which often impedes them from making the best decisions regarding patient care. As the implementation of electronic health records (“EHR”) continues to be weak within organizations, it is important to address some of the most common barriers health providers face when it comes to acquiring such system. The main focus of this paper is to discuss the advantages that this information system provides to its users. Some potential advantages of HER include improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of: health care providers, decision making ability, availability of records, coordination of care, and cost savings just to mention a few.
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Electronic records are known as another form of patients’ paper charts. It is believed that with the adoption of electronic health medical record systems those who adopt them will be greatly benefited. Unfortunately, in reality, the adoption of electronic medical records among organizations is very low. Hillestad et al. (2013) pointed out that only 15-20 percent of physician offices have adopted the Electronic medical records system. The percentage of adoption in hospitals was 20-25 percent. Similarly, Jha et al. (2009) points out that “only 17 percent of all U.S. physicians either…...

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