Electronic Health Records

Electronic Health Records



Flowchart: Display: High maintenance costs
Rounded Rectangle: Reduced paperwork costs

Electronic Health Records

Question 1

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are digitalized collections of patients’ medical information. This data includes one’s medical history, diagnosis, prescriptions, and laboratory test results (Hamilton, 2009). In addition, the personal details of a patient are present in these records. This comprises one’s age, gender, profession, and address. The documents also comprise detailed information regarding one’s medical insurance cover. Because of these detailed facts about the patients, the medical practitioners are able to comprehend their health progression.

The digitalization of these details makes it possible for various doctors of medicine to access the system. For example, a patient who needs to undergo surgery requires examining by various practitioners including a psychiatric analyst, pharmacist, surgeon, and nurse (Gartee and Beal, 2011). For this reason, these practitioners access a patient’s file with the aim of analyzing his or her progress. It is also possible for different medical facilities to share information through this system. This is because of the efficiency of the system with regard to workflow.

Most medical practitioners and amenities make use of this structure as a decision-making tool regarding patients’ care. For instance, a doctor may check the records in order to identify any medical conditions crucial in drug prescriptions (Williams and Samarth, 2011). The doctors also analyze one’s medical history as detailed in the electronic documents with the aim of determining the cause of a certain health disorder. Since the emergence of this program, the health sector has transformed its operations. The administration bases its decisions on the information provided in the system (Wegman, Institute of Medicine and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2011).

Question 2

There are several benefits of this system. To start with, it helps in maintaining the privacy of the patients’ details. This is because one has to have the password to the system in order to access it. Contrary to the printed version of patients’ identifications, it is difficult to misplace the electronic documents (Hristidis, 2010). This makes it difficult for malicious individuals to access such records. This privacy also helps in strengthening the relationships between patients and medical practitioners. They are at ease when confiding in the doctors because of the high level of confidentiality.

Additionally, the physicians are able to recommend the right drugs to the ailing individuals. The Electronic Health Records contains detailed information about one’s allergies, diagnosis, and medical history. These facts are useful in determining the drugs that may have harmful reactions on the patient. The doctor may also base his or her healthcare decisions on the individual’s disease. A person suffering from diabetes type 1 may require a different form of treatment from one diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (Gartee, 2012).

The digitalized documents also enhance the legibility of the details. This is because of the standard format of the document, as opposed to information recorded manually where the writer’s handwriting varies. Furthermore, the reduced paperwork minimizes the hospital’s operational costs. The administration does not have to print or photocopy the patients’ medical facts. Likewise, minimal paperwork contributes to environmental conservation. Paper manufacturers obtain their raw materials from trees, leading to deforestation.

Question 3

Despite these advantages, the program faces various drawbacks in its implementation. One of these challenges is the high acquisition costs. For a medical amenity to fully embrace this system, they have to convert all typed records into electronic documents. This process involves many costs because of the large number of papers. The maintenance cost of the program is also a major challenge. The hospital needs to hire the services of an expert in information technology to oversee the operations within the system (Walker, Bieber and Richards, 2005).

It is also possible for malevolent individuals to hack into the system with the main aim of using the patients’ information for sale to other pharmaceutical companies. For this reason, the health institution in question may experience severe disruptions in its workflow. Maintaining privacy within the system is a challenge that may jeopardize patient-doctor relationships. In some cases, ailing individuals may fail to seek healthcare for fear of societal stigmatization following lack of confidentiality of their therapeutic details (Eichenwald and Petterson, 2008).

            Conservative medical practitioners may also be reluctant to adopt this system. Most of these employees view handwritten documents as the most efficient way of recordkeeping. As it is evident in all organizations, people embrace new ideas at different paces. Owing to this state of affairs, fast and effective implementation of the digital version of medical records is a major hindrance. However, certain strategies can help in suppressing these challenges. These tactics include managerial and training measures. The medical organizations need to involve the entire workforce in the implementation process.

            To start with, the medical institutions need to identify a reliable and effective vendor of the system (Booz Allen Hamilton and Canada Health Infoway, 2005). This is helpful in enhancing the privacy of clients’ information. The dealer should be responsible for installing elements that enhance the security of the system. In addition, relying on one dealer limits the number of people that can access the records. This strategy will help in enhancing the implementation of the program. Clients will be able to confide in physicians because of the high level of privacy installed in the system.

            Hiring of a specialized system manager will also support the execution of the scheme. The overseer will constantly analyze the proceedings with the main purpose of identifying any traces of interference. Through this strategy, the customers will have an assurance of the security of their therapeutic facts. Additionally, the maintenance costs of the program will be low (Morrow, 2010). This is because of the frequent scrutiny of the patients’ records. Regular training of the organization’s employees is also an efficient strategy in putting the system into operation.

            Frequent educative forums with regard to the Electronic Health Records will change the perception of conservative medical practitioners. They will view this digitalization as a gateway towards effective healthcare. Furthermore, the labor force will avoid any actions that may jeopardize the security of the scheme. This is by prohibiting any individuals with the aim of illegally accessing the records of the ailing clients. In conclusion, proper implementation of Electronic Health Records will help the health sector to improve its operations. To ensure efficiency in the program, the administration in hospitals should use appropriate measures to suppress the challenges facing it.


Booz Allen Hamilton., & Canada Health Infoway (Organization). (2005). Canada Health Infoway’s 10-year investment strategy costing: Pan-Canadian electronic health record implementation strategy. Montreal, Que]́: Canada Health Infoway.

Eichenwald, S., & Petterson, B. J. (2008). Using the electronic health record in the health care provider practice. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Gartee, R. (2012). Essentials of electronic health records. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Gartee, R., & Beal, S. (2011). Electronic health records and nursing. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Hamilton, B. (2009). Electronic health records. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education.

Hristidis, V. (2010). Information discovery on electronic health records. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.

Morrow, J. R. (2010). Embracing healthcare technology: Managing change during an electronic health record implementation. Portland, Or: Productivity.

Walker, J. M., Bieber, E. J., & Richards, F. (2005). Implementing an electronic health record system. London: Springer.

Wegman, D. H., Institute of Medicine (U.S.)., & National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2011). Incorporating occupational information in electronic health records: Letter report. Washington DC: National Academies Press.

Williams, T., & Samarth, A. (2011). Electronic health records for dummies. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

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