Mandating electronic medical records

A mandate requiring electronic medical records for all practitioners is a part of PPACA and is set to take effect in 2014.Some mandates included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have been included in and strengthened under the PPACA.EHRs can also provide physicians with real time access to patient data.Modern medicine is implements various health information technologies at an exponential rate.Although most new interventions include policies, procedures, and checklists for medical personnel to adhere to; errors still manage to occur.

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With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and its constitutionality ruling by the United States Supreme Court last June 28, 2012, healthcare reform is on its way.Due to the complexity of work in modern medicine and the knowledge base needed in some fields, medical errors are bound to occur.However, well-designed EHRs are believed to improve patient safety by improving communication, allowing access of knowledge, mandating key patient information for correct treatment options, and assisting with monitoring and calculations.When new technologies are implemented, who pays the costs? Assessment of the impact on time to complete medical record using an electronic medical record versus a paper record on emergency department patients: a study. Is it the patient that may already have limited access to care? J., Sutherland, J., Symington, C., Dorland, K., Mansour, M., & Stiell, I. The study concluded that there was improved patient safety in those Pennsylvania hospitals that had adopted EHRs (27% decline in in overall patient safety events and a 30% decline in medication errors).Billing errors, medication errors, and medical coding errors have been seen as unavoidable in today’s modern medicine.Research suggests that “information technology, including electronic medical records, [are] becoming an integral part of healthcare delivery” (Perry et al., 2014).It is believed that electronic medical records will help increase legibility and accessibility, but not without cost.The fact remains that system flaws will occur and though we cannot expect to be 100% error free, well-designed EHRs are a small step in the decline of patient safety events.This article discusses some of the changes in healthcare delivery and the growing field of health information technology as well as the impact of time when implementing a new health information technology system, in particular electronic medical records.

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