EHR Standardization

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					                                                               EHR Standards   1

                                 GROUP 7

   EHR Standardization

Ian Anthony Margaret Boone Walt Bower Matt Mortimer Andre Pusey Summer Rae

       In a world of technology and electronic records, it is astonishing that the most crucial

records are kept in an archaic paper format. The importance of the migration to this new era of

storage and classification cannot simply be overlooked; in this constantly evolving world,

mobility plays a key role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. The fast-paced nature of the

average person’s life leaves no time to complete lengthy forms once, much less multiple times.

This is a major complaint among patients in the emergency room.

       Along with these complaints comes a plethora of mistakes that range from simple

communication errors to the ultimate mistake, the wrongful death of a loved one. How can

these errors be simply tossed aside? Why is there no movement towards the betterment of

this system we call healthcare? When dealing with a transformation of this magnitude, it is hard

to put into context how significant the change would prove; For the tens of thousands of

doctors in North America alone, the time spent on actual patient care is almost inundated by

the time spent on lengthy forms and corrections. With private practitioners seeing an average

of 30-50 patients a day, the number of mistakes can add up quickly.

       The solution lies in the adoption of a system that would be a universal improvement.

Clearly, Interoperability is the number one problem with an unveiling of a national system, but

with all the different infrastructures and software development put into place, the ability to

improve communication flow has been hindered by the capacity to keep up with ever-changing

technology trends.
         Who will monitor this information and who will ultimately be held responsible for the

privacy and security of this sensitive data? The multitude of service providers and insurers

complicates matters to no end. The only solution is to ultimately have a national EHR system;

this would be the only way to unify the electronic system. Without a national system in place,

data would more than likely still be duplicated and held in numerous locations unnecessarily.

This would clearly not be in the best interests of those willing to invest the time and money

needed for a system to “simplify” matters.

        With all of these hindrances that are currently embedded in the health care industry

regarding health informatics, it is no wonder the adoption has been sluggish to put it best.

However, the future of EHR is a bright one. If the US is to adopt an electronic system, thus

becoming a dominant force within the area of health informatics, certain criteria must be met.

The policies and mandates need to be further analyzed and policy implemented. The

dominance of political gain must not be tolerated. Only a new mind set and a new culture of

people willing to set forth the effort will provide a successful pathway for this future to become

a reality.

        Both the medical community and the federal government agree that standards must be

established for EHR’s to be successful; within the next several years, it is imperative that the

government and Information specialists join together to solve the problems facing this

integration. Though converting to an electronic system continues to be expensive, and EHRs

have yet to live up to their potential, the benefits are too great not to pursue electronic

documentation as the standard for the future of medical records. With the healthcare industry
moving towards the role of empowering the individual the EHR will be a vital tool of the trade;

moreover, the powerful nature of the EHR is not to be underestimated. If the US is to succeed

in achieving a system deploying a national health record database, all involved industries must

come together in a unified and national agreement. For this to be successful there must be a

combined effort from all areas of the medical field, Information technology, the federal

government, and even active public involvement. The key stakeholders must all put forth the

effort to ensure that national investment evolves and keeps up with the technology available.

       The United States is an innovator, but the improvements cannot be limited to money-

making industries alone. Though the medical industry is a business, the factor that should be

driving this technology forward should be the people. It is tragic that a country with such a high

standard of living doesn’t follow through with its standard of health care. The possibility of an

electronic healthcare system that is effective and accurate is an attainable goal, but it must be

reached through a combined effort. The federal government, physicians (both private and

public), clinics, insurers and patients must unify to usher in this new era of medicine.