Basic Information about EHR Application
The EHR medical abbreviation stands for Electronic Health Record. According to Shahmoradi et al. (2017), EHR is “defined as a comprehensive set of a patient’s conditions that are maintained by the healthcare provider over time, and includes all key clinical data relevant that the patient” (p. 643). In other words, this is an online digital version of a patient’s paper chart, to which several medical specialists simultaneously have access. EHR also enables healthcare providers to choose the best treatment and care methods.
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Objectives of EHR Implementation
There are two main categories of reasons for the implementation of EHR in health facilities, namely internal and external. The internal type of goals implies that the EHR database allows specialists to identify, compile, maintain, and monitor all kinds of data of their patients (Shahmoradi et al., 2017). External reasons for the implementation of EHR are that various clinics and hospitals can transfer patient information to each other in a short period (Shahmoradi et al., 2017). It speeds up the treatment process and makes care more comfortable and less problematic. EHR also frees health workers from the tedious paperwork that takes more time and effort.
Possible Financial Costs of EHR Implementation
The implementation of EHR is a welcome and even necessary measure for medical institutions in the modern world. However, the digitalization of such gigantic information material as a patient’s paper charts requires high financial costs. It is worth noting that the state also puts pressure on both private and state clinics, demanding the speedy implementation of EHR (Monica, 2017). On the example of 2017, one may notice that the average price of an EHR application is more than two hundred million USDs (Monica, 2017). The most significant implementation expenses are one and a half billion USDs for the Mayo clinic (Monica, 2017). Nevertheless, some medical institutions spend much smaller amounts on EHR applications.
Leading Causes of Failing in Acquiring an EHR Application
It is no secret that the implementation of new technologies can lead to a number of failures, especially in the field of healthcare, where there are many different nuances. One of the common reasons is financial failure due to an incorrect assessment of the cost of the EHR application and the process of its implementation (Monica, 2017). It includes such an economic factor as a return on investment. It is also worth noting technical failures when specialists chose the wrong hardware, and the components are not compatible with each other (Green, 2018). One of the main shortcomings can also be attributed to software incompatibility when various programs conflict or refuse to work (Green, 2018). The decisive role can also be played by the human factor (Green, 2018). Medical specialists may not master new duties or abandon them for several psychological or principal reasons.
Specific HIPAA standards to an EHR Application
The digitalization of patient information has led to several new defined regulations in the field of EHR. One of the main points is access control, which is commonly represented as a standard login and password (Glandon et al., 2013). It is important to note that HIPAA required the encryption of patient information (Glandon et al., 2013). It implies that an unwanted agent could not read encoded private data without a unique software element. HIPAA also obliges health institutions to keep a history of any activity within EHR applications (Glandon et al., 2013). As can be seen, these measures aim to maintain the security of personal information of patients and healthcare workers.
Glandon, G. L., Slovensky, D. J., & Smaltz, D. H. (2013). Information systems for healthcare management. Health Administration Press.
Green, J. (2018). Three common barriers to EHR implementation and how to avoid them.
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Monica, K. (2017). Top 5 most expensive EHR implementations of 2017.
Shahmoradi, L., Darrudi, A., Arji, G., & Nejad, A. F. (2017). Electronic health record implementation: a SWOT analysis. Acta Medica Iranica, 642-649.