Electronic Health Records (EHR) were designed to store valuable patient information and have taken the place of paper health records. Everything about a patient is included in an EHR, from medical history and treatments received to insurance coverage and test results.
An EHR is a computerized system where patient records are created, used, exchanged, stored, and retrieved. It replaces the traditional paper records with an electronic record and maintains all of the elements of a paper record. The EHR is a computerized electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The EHR automates the clinician's workflow and has the ability to generate a complete record of a patient encounter - as well as supporting other care-related activities directly or indirectly, including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcome reporting.
In this paper I will discuss the many benefits and drawbacks of EHR’s, the types of software used and their functions as well as my thoughts on the future of Electronic Health Records.
Many healthcare organizations have switched over to electronic health records since President George W. Bush called for health records to be stored electronically by 2014, and President Obama’s administration plans to continue pushing for that deadline. Obama mentioned in a speech back in 2009 that EHR’s are part of his plan to overhaul the economy, but failed to mention how much funding the government should spend on it or how it would be disbursed. (K.C. Jones, Information Week, 2009)
The first known medical record was developed by Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C. Two goals he had for medical records were that they should accurately reflect the course of disease and it...