Electronic the other hand, Electronic health records (EHRs)

 Electronic
Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic health records (EHR)

Next we would
like to discuss the uses of Electronic health records (HER) and Electronic
medical records (EMR) and their impact on Health information technology (HIT).
These systems allow for a greater and more seamless flow of information within
a digital healthcare infrastructure. They help leverage the use of information
technology in healthcare and greatly impact the way care is delivered. It is
important however, to note that there are differences between these two
systems. Quite often, people tend to use them interchangeably, but the extent
to which they are used is significantly different. Electronic medical records
(EMRs) are a digital version of the paper charts in the clinician’s office. An
EMR contains the medical and treatment history of the patients in one practice.
On the other hand, Electronic health records (EHRs) do all those things—and
more. EHRs focus on the total health of the patient—going beyond standard
clinical data collected in the provider’s office and inclusive of a broader
view on a patient’s care.1

 The EMR refers to everything you’d find in a paper chart, such as
medical history, diagnoses, medications, immunization dates, and allergies.
While EMRs work well within a practice, they’re limited because they don’t
easily travel outside the practice. In fact, the patient’s medical record might
even have to be printed out and mailed for another provider to see it.2 The
EHR On the other hand is a digital record of health information. It contains
all the information you would find in a paper chart — and a lot more. EHRs
include past medical history, vital signs, progress notes, diagnoses,
medications, immunization dates, allergies, lab data and imaging reports. They
can also contain other relevant information, such as insurance information,
demographic data, and even data imported from personal wellness devices.3 The
power of an EHR lies not only in the data it contains, but how it’s shared.
EHRs makes health information instantly accessible to authorized providers
across practices and health organizations, helping to inform clinical decisions
and coordinate care. An EHR can be shared with all clinicians and organizations
involved in a patient’s care such as labs, specialists, imaging facilities,
pharmacies, emergency facilities, and school and workplace clinics.4

Electronic health
records (EHR) are an important part of health IT, and the Meaningful Use
Program provides financial incentives for providers to adopt EHR technology. Meaningful
Use is using certified EHR technology to improve quality, safety, and
efficiency and to reduce health disparities, engage patients and family,
improve care coordination, improve population and public health, and maintain
the privacy and security of patient health information.5 EHR
technology is at the heart of the US federal government’s effort to make it
easier for a wide variety of healthcare institutions to share medical data with
other healthcare providers, such as health information exchanges and regional
health information organizations, and with patients themselves. The Health
Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH Act,
which is one section of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
established financial incentives and penalties to compel providers to become
“meaningful” users of certified EHR technology. To qualify for incentive
payments, which are administered via the Medicare and Medicaid programs,
providers must use EHR systems that comply with HHS standards. 6

As mentioned earlier, even though
EMR and EHR seem to have the similar functions, they are not quite the same and
confusion about their distinction happens so often. The term “electronic
health record” has been referenced far more frequently, probably due in
part to its use by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as
well as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC). In
the world of health care reform, the CMS refers to the “meaningful use of
an EHR,” and the ONC has clearly stated they use “EHR” and
“electronic health records” almost exclusively, explaining that
“the word ‘health’ covers a lot more territory than the word ‘medical’.
And EHRs go a lot further than EMRs.”7
The ONC goes on to explain that electronic medical records contain a
patient’s clinical data, while electronic health records go beyond that to
focus on the broader, total health of each patient.

The idea of an EHR has been around since about the late
1960s8 but,
due to Meaningful Use requirements, the use of EHRs is becoming more widespread
throughout the healthcare industry. EHRs represent a notable improvement over
paper medical records because they not only enable the convenient, accurate,
and comprehensive capture of a patient’s history, but also facilitate the rapid
searching, recall, and electronic sharing of that history with other providers
and medical applications. Unlike an EMR, an EHR lets you receive lab results,
radiology reports, and even X-ray images electronically while ensuring tests
are not duplicated.9

EHRs are also relevant in the
pharmacy as paper prescription pads have been eliminated and all orders are
automated using secure e-prescribing technology. EHRs offer access to
evidence-based tools to support clinical decisions. An EHR is smart enough to
warn doctors about drug interactions, help them make a diagnosis, and point
them to evidence-based guidelines when they’re evaluating treatment options.
EHRs also make it much easier to communicate and connect electronically. Doctors can talk
in cyberspace with patients,
their medical assistants, referring doctors, hospitals, and insurers—securely.
The system lends a hand with practice management and helps avoid delays in
treatments. Patients can schedule their own appointments and staffers can check
on insurance eligibility.10 The
EHR is about quality, safety, and efficiency. It is a great tool for physicians,
that had transform medical industry into a revolutionized technology medical
industry.

There are many advantages for using EHR and EMR. Compared
to paper records, a digital patient-record (EHR) system can help with providing
better care by more efficiently organizing, interpreting, and reacting to data.
EHR software can provide clinical reminder alerts, connect experts for health
care decision support, and analyze aggregate data for both care management and
research. The more interactive an EHR system is, the more it will prompt the
user for additional information. This not only helps collect more data but also
enhances their completeness. EHRs are the future of healthcare because they
provide critical data that informs clinical decisions, and they help coordinate
care between all providers in the healthcare ecosystem. EHR systems focus on
the total health of the patient. EHR software is designed to reach out beyond
the health organization that originally collects and compiles the information.
They are built to share information with other health care providers, such as
laboratories and specialists, so they contain information from all the
clinicians involved in the patient’s care. The information moves with the
patient—to the specialist, the hospital, the nursing home, the next state or
even across the country. EHR systems are designed to be accessed by all people
involved in the patient’s care—including the patients themselves.11

There are also some disadvantages for using EHR and EMR
software systems. They are typically much more expensive to implement
initially, as providers must invest in the proper hardware to be able to record
and store patient charts, conversion the paper charts into electronic ones, and
training and software support cost12.
In addition, the transitional state can be very difficult to deal with, since
some of the records have not been converted into the electronic form and
doctors may not be aware of that13.
Unless properly built, there’s also the chance the system will malfunction, destroy
all data. 14

 

 

HIPAA

For many of us, EHRs also come
with questions and concerns about the privacy and security of our health
information. In order to protect the information stored in EHRs, the HIPAA
Security Rule requires that health care providers set up physical,
administrative, and technical safeguards to protect electronic health
information. Some safety measures that may be built in to EHR systems include:
“Access controls” like passwords and PIN numbers, to help limit access to your
information; “Encrypting” your stored information. This means your health
information cannot be read or understood except by someone who can “decrypt”
it, using a special “key” made available only to authorized individuals; An
“audit trail,” which records who accessed your information, what changes were
made and when.15

Prior
to HIPAA, no generally accepted set of security standards or general
requirements for protecting health information existed in the healthcare
industry. At the same time, new technologies were evolving, and the healthcare
industry began to move away from paper processes and rely more heavily on the
use of electronic information systems to pay claims, answer eligibility
questions, provide health information and conduct a host of other administrative
and clinically based functions. 16

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act) is a federal law that sets out rules for sharing personal
medical information and protecting it from unauthorized uses. It applies to
information collected in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other places that
provide health care as well as to the businesses that help providers manage and
store the data. The information may be on paper or in an electronic health
record.17 The
law allows people who are directly involved in the care of a patient or payment
for services to see this information. Employers, marketers, fundraisers, or
other people who want this information for their own reasons cannot have it.18

HIPAA is based on two important ideas in
patient care: privacy and confidentiality. Privacy refers to a person’s right
to limit who knows what about one’s medical condition. It also refers to the
right to have conversations about medical care in places where others cannot
overhear. The detailed regulation that covers HIPAA is called the Privacy Rule.
Confidentiality refers to a healthcare professional’s obligation to keep
information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent, unless required
by law or considered necessary for clinical reasons.19

The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the
privacy of individually identifiable health information, called protected
health information (PHI). The Security Rule protects a subset of information
covered by the Privacy Rule, which is all individually identifiable health
information a covered entity creates, receives, maintains or transmits in
electronic form. The Security Rule calls this information “electronic protected
health information” (e-PHI). The Security Rule does not apply to PHI
transmitted orally or in writing. 20
Which means only PHI that were transmitted electronically are controlled under
the security rule.

Conclusion

When it comes to the subject of
innovation in medical science, one may automatically think about costly expensive
diagnostic tools and cutting-edge procedures. However, it is important to note
that today, data innovation is utilized on a more extensive scale to influence the
healthcare system in a positive way. Information technology supports health information management by
using computerized systems enabling the secure exchange of health information between consumers, providers, payers,
and quality monitors.

1

EMR vs EHR – What is the Difference?

2 Fusion, Practice. “EHR
vs. EMR | Definition, Benefits and Usage Trends | Practice Fusion.” Practice
Fusion Blog, 1 Jan. 2017, www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-vs-emr/.

3 Fusion, Practice. “EHR vs. EMR |
Definition, Benefits and Usage Trends | Practice Fusion.” Practice Fusion Blog,
1 Jan. 2017, www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-vs-emr/.

4 Fusion, Practice. “EHR vs. EMR |
Definition, Benefits and Usage Trends | Practice Fusion.” Practice Fusion Blog,
1 Jan. 2017, www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-vs-emr/.

5 “Meaningful Use Definition
& Objectives.” HealthIT.gov,
Healthit.gov, 6 Feb. 2015,
www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/meaningful-use-definition-objectives.

6 “FAQ: What are EHR systems
and why are they important?” SearchHealthIT,
searchhealthit.techtarget.com/tutorial/FAQ-What-is-EHR-technology-and-why-is-it-important.

7 “EMR vs. EHR—What is the
Difference?,” Peter Garrett and Joshua Seidman, PhD, HealthIT Buzz,
January 4, 2011

EMR vs EHR – What is the Difference?

8 “The History of the Electronic Health Record,”
Larry Pawola, PharmD, MBA, University of Illinois at Chicago; Head, Department
Biomedical and Health Information Sciences, Program Director Health
Informatics, February 22, 2011, http://healthinformatics.uic.edu/the-history-of-the-electronic-health-record/

9 “What Is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?” HealthIT.gov,
22 Sept. 2016,
www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/electronic-medical-records-emr.

10 “Overview.” CMS.gov Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 26 Mar.
2012, www.cms.gov/Medicare/E-Health/EHealthRecords/index.html.

11 Fusion,
Practice. “EHR vs. EMR | Definition, Benefits and Usage Trends | Practice
Fusion.” Practice Fusion Blog, 1 Jan. 2017,
www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-vs-emr/.

12 “What are the Disadvantages of
Electronic Health Records?.” Oral
Health, 26 Nov. 2011,
https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/blogs/what-are-the-disadvantages-of-electronic-health-records/.
Accessed 2017.

13 “What are the Disadvantages of
Electronic Health Records?.” Oral
Health, 26 Nov. 2011,
https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/blogs/what-are-the-disadvantages-of-electronic-health-records/.
Accessed 2017.

14 Fusion,
Practice. “EHR vs. EMR | Definition, Benefits and Usage Trends | Practice
Fusion.” Practice Fusion Blog, 1 Jan. 2017,
www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-vs-emr/.

15 Secretary, HHS Office of
the, and Office for Civil Rights (OCR). “Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule.”
HHS.gov, US Department of Health and Human Services, 26 July 2013,
www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/security/laws-regulations/index.html.

16 Secretary, HHS Office of the, and Office
for Civil Rights (OCR). “Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule.” HHS.gov, US
Department of Health and Human Services, 26 July 2013, www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/security/laws-regulations/index.html.

17 “HIPAA: Questions and
Answers for Family Caregivers.” UHF Next Step in Care, United
Hospital Fund, 2014, www.nextstepincare.org/next_step_in_care_guides/107/HIPAA.

18 “HIPAA: Questions and
Answers for Family Caregivers.” UHF Next Step in Care, United
Hospital Fund, 2014, www.nextstepincare.org/next_step_in_care_guides/107/HIPAA.

19 “HIPAA: Questions and
Answers for Family Caregivers.” UHF Next Step in Care, United
Hospital Fund, 2014, www.nextstepincare.org/next_step_in_care_guides/107/HIPAA.

20 Secretary, HHS Office of
the, and Office for Civil Rights (OCR). “Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule.”
HHS.gov, US Department of Health and Human Services, 26 July 2013,
www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/security/laws-regulations/index.html.