Health information technology essay

Health information technology essay

Health information technology (health IT) makes it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure use and sharing of health information. Health IT includes the use of electronic health records (EHRs) instead of paper medical records to maintain people’s health information.

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Share the EHR platform that your practice uses ***WHICH IS ALLSCRIPTS*** and discuss the challenges and barriers to electronic charting. Why have we moved from paper charting to EHR’s? What is meant by meaningful use regulations and why is this important to know when documenting in the EHR?

Please support your work with at least three evidence based practice resources that are less than 5 years old.

****Written Paper (Microsoft Word doc): minimum 2000 words using 6th edition APA formatting*****

 

Topic: Health Information Technology

The establishment of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in 2004 laid down the platform on which medical documentation transitioned from the use of paper charting to electronic records. This office was mandated to guarantee the rapid expansion of the use of electronic health records, by creating nationwide awareness. In 2009, the office received a boost with the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that emphasized on the advancement of health information technology as stipulated in the HITECH Act (HHS, 2017). Since then, different electronic health record systems have been created and they all aim at ensuring that they improve the quality of care, limit occurrence of medical errors, which was mostly associated with the use of paper charting and reduce the costs of health care (Kim, Clarke, Belden, & Hinton, 2014).

In the clinic that I am doing my clinical hours, the EHR system used is the MDFlow; is a health information system, which has a proven track record of developing quality and cost-effective systems for the health care sector. The systems are comprehensive, scalable, customized to meet the demands of the health care facility integrated to guarantee flow of health information from one department to the other; strategic and cost effective to ensure that the cost of health care is kept at bare for the patients, even though quality is not compromised. The MDFlow electronic health records system is one that is very innovative and aligns with the stipulated guidelines and requirements of electronic health records. The internet-based system is ONC-ATCB certified and an approved Patient Care Workflow Management System (MDFlow, 2018). The EHR was designed with the intent of guarantee effective and quality patient care as that was the way through which practices would be streamlined and flow of information enhanced in the lifecycle of patient medical care. MDFlow EHR operates as a centralized electronic medical data repository that allows all health information of the patient to be stored and retrieved electronically following accurate recording. The system seeks to meet the needs of the pre-visit functionality; the visit as well as the post visit functionality regardless of the size of the health care facility. The system allows the health care providers to access patient information at any time and even while outside of the health care facility if they utilized a secured internet connection. However, to ensure that only authorized personnel access the health information of a patient, the MDFlow EHR system provides a list of the aspects that aligned with the staff-model; this ensures that the health information remains confidential and the privacy of the patient is maintained.

MDFlow EHR system is a Software-as-a Service (SaaS) system that is based on Microsoft technology and it contains several unique features that enhance its effectiveness as well as the attainment of the goals that it is expected to achieve (MDFlow, 2018). The system can capture legible and detailed patient demographical and medical records; the system maintains an up-to-date problem list; assists in making of appointments to avoid overcrowding of patients as it affects the provision of quality health care services. The system is maintaining an allergy list as well as active medication for all patients; prescription that is done electronically as well as reconciliation of medication. Health surveillance and the submission of registries concerning immunization are also maintained in the system; the specific education resources of the patient; the patient portal and information concerning telemedicine consultations (MDFlow, 2018). Health information technology essay

Equally, there are many challenges and barriers that affect the effective utilization of MDFlow EHR or any EHR system; first is the fact that since it is internet-based then internet connectivity is very critical. The point is that MDFlow EHR system as many others, relies on the connectivity of the internet to guarantee continued sharing and flow of health information among the health care providers regardless of their location. This becomes a challenge because with the rapid technological advancement, health care facilities are required to maintain an uptrend of technological advancement to determine the best broadband connection that will ensure that health information continues to flow or rather is accessible at all rights and at any given location. Other than the challenge of internet connection, the other barrier to effective utilization of the EHR systems is that its functionality is also affected by the age as well as other factors of the devices through which the health information is retrieved. The notion is that the age of the computer greatly affects the storage, retrieved and sharing of health information from one department to another. This therefore, implies that the health care facility is expected to continuously check on its hardware or rather change its computers after a while to guarantee the effective functioning of the system (Kim, Clarke, Belden, & Hinton, 2014). Unfortunately, this is a very expensive process, especially while putting in mind the fact that many health care facilities to date are facing the financial challenges that would help them implement electronic health record systems.

Ajami and Bagheri-Tadi (2013) carried out a study that examined the barriers that influence adoption of electronic health records by health care providers and established that cost is one of the factors that physicians must consider when advising their health care facilities to implement EHR systems, their supports depends on the cost that they incur as they support the health information technology. The other challenge that affects the effective utilization of the EHR systems is the absence of skills among the health care providers; the idea is that many health care providers do not have the proper training as to how the system operate. This makes its difficult for the health care facility to effectively utilize the system that it has installed, because the untrained users might use the system inappropriately and this would lead the facility in incurring more costs. Lack of training explains why many health care providers resist the installation or even upgrading of the electronic health record system in their facility, as they would be required to go for training on how the system operate. Most of these providers do not have funds for the training, and the health care facility is not financially able to support their training process. The result of this is limited utilization of the EHR systems, which if properly utilized would greatly help the health care facility in meeting its goals of providing quality care, reducing medical errors and law suits, and becoming cost effective.

In 2015, Zabora, Bolte, Brethwaite, Weller, & Friedman, carried out a research that examined the challenges faced during the integration of the cancer survivorship care plans with the electronic medical records and established that one of the challenges was the time restraint that the health care providers faced. In other words, health care providers play a great role in carrying out reach that aligns with the design and development of effective electronic medical record systems, but unfortunately, they face the challenge of time restraint because in addition to carrying out research, they are expected to perform their duties by attending to patients in their different departments. The health care providers are therefore, forced to use electronic health record systems that do not align with their demands; this implies that the goals of the system are not met, and quality care is not provided with the current design of the health information technology. At some point the health care providers are forced to give up on the electronic health record system in a situation where it has initial technical malfunctions or when its does not align with their specifications.

EHR systems are expected to guarantee stead workflow at the health care facility. Unfortunately, at times the system breaks down and negatively affects the operations of the health care facility. This challenge occurs due to lack of customizing the system to ensure that it fits with the purpose that it is expected to perform at the health care facility. However, this challenge is normally quickly addressed before its effects reach high levels, because immediately the system starts to malfunction, the vendor is contacted and asked to provide proper directives on how the failure can be rectified. At times the vendor is requested to availed himself and personally attend to the problem as well as advice the information and technology department of the health care facility on the best way to deal with a similar problem in the future.

The other challenge that relates with the use of the MDFlow EHR system aligns with the privacy of the health information that is stored in the system. Privacy is a very important factor for the patients and is also very sensitivity regarding the use of electronic health record systems. HIPAA and HITECT Act stipulate that health information systems must at al times guarantee or rather uphold high levels of privacy and ensure that the health information provided and concerning the patient is secured (Kim, Clarke, Belden, & Hinton, 2014). This is a challenge with the MDFlow EHR system since it is an internet based system, meaning it guarantees the retrieved and access of health information at any location and time. The risk with internet based systems is that they can easily be hacked by malicious individuals, because all they need is some information concerning the patient. For this reason, efforts are continuously being made to ensure that strict privacy of health information is achieved with the use of the MDFlow EHR system and any other EHR system used.

In conclusion, this paper examined the challenges and barriers that influence the effective utilization of electronic health record systems that are used for the storage of health information concerning the patient. The electronic health record system that was examined mostly is the MDFlow Electronic Health Record system used in my clinical setting; the benefits and features of the system were examined to explain the role that it carries out in the health care facility. This was followed by the examination of the challenges and barriers that the MDFlow EHRR system and any other ERH system faces as well as ways through which efforts are made to guarantee effective and continued functioning of the system to meets its goals of eliminating medical errors, improving quality care and reducing health costs. Health information technology essay

 

 

References

Ajami, S., & Bagheri-Tadi, T. (2013). Barriers for adopting electronic health records (EHRs) by physicians. Acta Informatica Medica, 21(2), 129-134.

Kim, M. S., Clarke, M. A., Belden, J. L., & Hinton, E. (2014). Usability Challenges and Barriers in EHR Training of Primary Care Resident Physicians. International Conference on Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management (pp. 385-391). Springer, Cham.

MDFlow. (2018). Electronic Health Records (EHR) and patient care workflow management system. Retrieved from http://www.mdflow.com/www/mdflow-electronics-health-records.html.

Zabora, J. R., Bolte, S., Brethwaite, D., Weller, S., & Friedman, C. (2015). The challenges of the integration of cancer survivorship care plans with electronic medical records. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 31 (1), 73-78. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2014.12.001

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). (2017). HITECH Act Enforcement Interim Final Rule. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/HI TECH-act-enforcement-interim-final-rule/index.html. Health information technology essay

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