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Electronic Health Records Verses Paper Records, Coursework Example

Pages: 4

Words: 964

Coursework

Introduction

A comparison and contrast explaining similarities and differences between electronic health record and the paper record could be extensive. However, for this discussion some of the most relevant ones will be highlighted. Paper records involve preparation of files for storing patients’ health records. This is similar to electronic health recording system because their purpose is the same.’ The storage procedure is different and electronic health recording mechanism is complicated for persons who are not computer literate or limited in the skills (Roukema, Los & Bleeker, 2006).

Paper records could be considered a traditional method, which is slowly becoming obsolete.  Patients’ records are stored alphabetically in file cabinets. They are accessible only in one place on the unit. Electronic health recoding system allows access to records from different places on a unit or within the organization through computerized mechanism. Patients’ files are stored alphabetically also, but in special computer files, which can be retrieved by a number of healthcare providers at the same time once they have the log-in information to the system  that delivers care to the patient (Cohen, Grossman & O’Malley, 2010).

Development

From my perspective the future direction of health record keeping is great. Essentially, organizations that continue with paper records have difficulty keeping abreast with efficient patient care management. Problems that may arise in the future as a result of many groups unwillingness to adopt the technology are immense. Organizations at first will be left behind in technological development of patient care administration. Electronic recording systems function as a communication network besides a storage information device. Hence, communication with agencies using the system would be removed and those omitting the service would become isolated. Ultimately, production levels will lapse and profits fall (Greenhalgh, Potts. H & Wong,  2009).

Changes to medical care (IE Affordable Care Act) can impact record keeping because billing codes are computerized along with services. To bill a patient using paper records is almost impossible. Besides, the process would be much longer when traditional calculators are used for this purpose. Managed care under the affordable care act has made electronic health records mandatory. Incentives are offered to providers and organizations that consent to the implementation process. Some providers contend that the changeover is costly, but under the affordable care act huge subsidies are offered for installation and training of employees to use electronic health record systems (Greenhalgh et.al, 2009).

A cost benefit analysis between Kendal Health solutions and Ponder Health Associates was conducted. They are similar organizations providing identical health Care Services in their communities, but located in two different parts of the county. Kendal Health solutions have adapted electronic health records about two years ago. Ponder solution is still using the paper. Specific related to the cost benefit analysis revealed that for Kendall health solutions the initial cost of $12,000 to implement and maintain the system then an additional $3,000 per year felt like a great financial constraint. However, after evaluating the benefits accrued from the system with respect to efficiency, accuracy in accessing medical records because they are stored safely away from the risk water damage and termites, the cost was worthwhile.

Besides, they  were able to reduce labor costs by $8,000. Due to accuracy of billing produced by the electronic health record system revenue was increased by 25% during the two year period. It was a significant cost benefit because while increasing the opportunity to service more patients per day with less clerical staff the organization was able to improve its quality of service. Duplicated diagnostic tests were reduced by 50%. One disadvantage is software deficiency, which could make maintenance cost a serious overhead expense.

Ponder Health Associates still uses paper files because the management argues that software and implementation cost is currently unaffordable. Besides, it would cost them much less to maintain their present business style until there is an increase in revenue to make changes. Where they operate at this time if electronic health record system is implemented they would be first to do it. As such, it would appear that unless if they could encourage more similar facilities into implementing electronic health records, it would be an isolated venture. Consequently, the cost/benefit ratio is negligible.

Conclusion

The pros and cons pertaining to these businesses implementation of electronic records could be related to the location as well as service area coverage. Ponder health associates is located in another part of the county where networking with other complimentary business entities such as pharmacies and laboratories is not essential. It does not cover as large an area as Kendal Health solutions even though they operate in the same county. A major advantage of Kendal health solution adaptation of electronic health recording system is that its 20 strong staff are all computer technology literate being offered in service training in computer skills.

Ponder health associated have staff working with them for more than twenty years who do not have basic computer skills. Even though they are just 12 the age disparities already pose conflict in the work environment with most of them being in their late forties and early fifties. This has a very strong influence on whether a company will adapt modern technology or wait to make staffing adjustments before entertaining the idea (Blumenthal & Tavenner, 2010).

References

Blumenthal, D., & Tavenner, M. (2010). The “Meaningful Use” Regulation for Electronic Health Records. New England Journal of Medicine 363 (6): 501–4.

Cohen, R. Grossman, J., & O’Malley, A. (2010). Electronic Medical Records and Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians: Are We Talking Less? Center for Studying Health System Change, Issue Brief No. 131

Roukema, J. Los, R., & Bleeker, S. (2006). Paper Versus Computer: Feasibility of an Electronic Medical Record in General Pediatrics. Pediatrics 117 (1): 15–21.,

Greenhalgh, T. Potts. H., & Wong, G. (2009). Tensions and paradoxes in electronic record research: A systemic review using meta-analysis narrative method Milbank Quarterly 87 (4): 729–788.

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