The medical industry is making steady headway into the realm of electronic medical record integration. It has been nearly 20 years since the first electronic health record was implemented in the U.S. and now many hospitals, clinics, and health information management companies are looking at the American health care system with the same eye as doctors and technology companies have for their European counterparts. While Europe has embraced many advancements in electronic medical record integration, the American medical system lagged and remained stubbornly resistant to change. But now that the tide is changing, it is not likely that resistance will be with us for long.
Protect Patient Records
One reason why electronic medical record integration like epic integration is now so widespread is the passage of HIPAA legislation. The primary goal of HIPAA was to protect patient records while strengthening privacy regulations. Although HIPAA did achieve its primary objective, the recent rash of hacking attacks has highlighted how significant the threat is to the entire electronic medical record system. The attacks have brought about another impetus for hospitals and other electronic patient care settings to integrate electronic health records. It is necessary to understand that the attacks have shown how vulnerable electronic patient records are to attack.
Viruses And Spyware
The attacks on electronic medical records incorporate viruses and spyware. These instruments are designed to gain access to the electronic health records of patients and are capable of either taking over the medical data or altering it. There is also the threat of tampering with the electronic communication between patient and doctor. These risks were demonstrated recently when a nurse practitioner stole the electronic communications of a paralyzed patient and was able to go through authorization processes and insert fraudulent medications.
Electronic Medical Record Integration
For these reasons, it is becoming more common for an individual seeking electronic medical record integration to consult with a private healthcare provider who specializes in this field. A private company that offers this service can be useful if the business is large since it will be less expensive for the provider to integrate the electronic health record. Also, many providers offer complimentary technical support and assistance after the integration is complete. A professional electronic health record integrator can design a customized application for the hospital’s electronic records. This professional can also help administrators implement the new system, train staff to use the application properly, and provide guidelines for the safe use of the new electronic medical record. Most companies require employees to turn in their laptops with the integrated system by the end of the day of the integration.
If an electronic health record is to be integrated into the organization’s existing paper-based system, then the process involves more steps than just adding the electronic medical records. Consulting with a professional can help prepare administrators with the necessary training to integrate electronic medical records. Some organizations also require managers or supervisors to undergo training in electronic medicine so they are aware of the new technology when it is brought into their workstations. In some cases, the electronic medical system may be administered in teams, with one member responsible for administering each system component.
The decreased time spent processing paper-based documents
One benefit of integrating electronic health records is the decreased time spent processing paper-based documents. Since electronic health records are electronically stored in a network, the time taken to search for a needed document is reduced. When electronic health records are integrated into an organization, staff members can access them much faster and with fewer errors, saving both time and money. Health information-technology experts advise that organizations review their electronic health records periodically to determine if they have incorporated the latest technologies and to ensure that they are using the technologies correctly.