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Electronic medical records – 10 points attorneys should know

Electronic medical records – 10 points attorneys should know

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ehr, emr, computerized medical records,1. A healthcare complex may contain different types of electronic health records which are incompatible and cannot share information with each other, such as the emergency department, labor and delivery and the radiology department. This glitch creates opportunities for important information to be overlooked.
2. There is money available to help hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to develop and implement electronic health records. It is not nearly enough. Start-up costs for a transition to electronic medical records represent a large financial burden for facilities. Hardware, software, and training costs can range from $3 million to $10 million per hospital. Fewer errors and higher productivity may more than offset the expense, but those savings are initially obtained by health insurance carriers, not hospitals since fewer complications and improved efficiency add up to shorter hospital stays. Facilities that do not make meaningful efforts to adopt electronic health records by 2015 will be fined.
3. Health care is an information business. Without having all the information available to everyone who needs it at the point of care, care cannot be either cost-effective or high quality. The hospital can control the use of resources. They can modify order sets to take a more expensive treatment out of the entry set, or force physicians to sign off on the order. The enormous amount of data that are collected about a person’s health can be stored and organized in a more efficient method than our current paper system permits.
4. Placement of bar codes on medical record forms permits a handwritten form to be scanned and saved in the correct section of an electronic chart.
5. The electronic medical record could lead to a more efficient transfer of information from one healthcare provider to another. When using manual methods of documentation, duplication of testing and data collection can occur during care transfer from one provider to another. Cost containment and health care reform mandate improving efficiency in the management of healthcare data.
6. An electronic record may be simultaneously viewed by more than one person. The electronic medical record can be accessed by authorized people located at a remote site. For example, the physician managing the care of a nursing home resident or hospital patient can access laboratory results, orders, and medical and nursing documentation in order to make clinical decisions.
7. Computerized documentation supports the economical use of the data entry process by reducing or eliminating redundant charting. A one-time entry of a piece of information into the program can be sent to all of the appropriate places.
8. Copying of medical records prior to transferring a patient to a different facility can be eliminated under the electronic health record model. This system would permit the receiving facility’s providers to be able to access the information gathered at the sending facility.
9. Hospital bedside monitors, laboratory equipment, and other devices provide data which may be electronically incorporated into the patient’s medical record.
10. The ability to review records of prior hospitalizations permits the healthcare team to obtain data about prior medical problems.

All of these advantages offer significant benefits for users of computerized medical records. The disadvantages, such as incompatible systems, can contribute to medical errors.

Med League specializes in locating well-qualified health care expert witnesses nationwide. Our EMR experts have extensive experience implementing EMR systems, deep understanding of backend EMR system database and clinical expertise.  Call us for assistance.

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