Electronic Health Records
According to Friedman, Parrish, & Ross, (2013), health practitioners when executing their duties can define Electronic Health Records (EHR) as a health information computing system that deals with the collection of data and other health information from other sources and make them available for the use and reference. As a system, Electronic Health System consists of the system hardware, system software, people operating the system, and policies governing the system. These aspects work in conjunction in order in order to collect data, process it to provide information that can be used by the medical professionals when making decision. The institute of medicine proposed the idea of Electronic Health Record in 1991 when they called for the paperless system in the medical sector to be implemented within the decade. In 2004, the then president of the United States of America George W Bush embraced the proposed and then he set a goal to provide the EHR system by 2014. This was followed by the legislation in 2009 when a lot of money was set aside for the adoption EHR system.
In spite of the promise and the great start initiated by George W Bush, the implementations of the EHR system has faced many challenges and by now little or no improvements have been made. This paper will try to look at the state EHR implementation currently and forecast it to where it is supposed to beat full implementation. It will then focus on some of the issues affecting the full implementation of the EHR system. Finally, it will discuss the role of HIMA in dealing with the issues that it will have identified.
The current state
According to Francis (2013), a lot of efforts and investments were made during the last decade. This made some significant progress towards the adoption and use of EHR and information exchanges in health care practice and health care administration. So far, the government of the United States of America has achieved in the implementation and adoption of EHR in synchronic surveillance, laboratory reporting, and registry. In his conclusion, these are basic public health practices. The government is now encouraging the medical providers to adopt the use of EHR in their practice. This was after realizing that a lot of money is being paid for the services that could cheaply be handled by the EHR system. The plan by the government to start penalizing the doctors who does not fully maximize the application of EHR by 2015. The adoption of the carrot and stick method has also played a part in ensuring that more practices can be handled using EHRs.
Currently, it has been reported that more than half the population of registered doctors are using EHR effectively. This is an improvement compared to the 17% in 2008 according to the reports by Health and Human Services in May 2013. About 86% of the government hospitals were reported to be using the EHR effectively. The amount of the incentives by Health and Human services has also increased by 77% (Francis, 2013).
Issues Affecting Adoption of EHR System
The implementation of the Electronic Health Record because of some of the issues affecting it is fully adopted. Most of these issues arise from within the health providers while others are technical oriented. The research done by Walker, Bieber, & Richards, (2005), found out that the information system has not obtained the software that can used to share the information smoothly among the interconnected systems. In the system, individual practices have been connected to the systems in the nearby hospitals, however, transfer of the information from one system to another cannot be achieved thus compelling the use of print outs, fax and telephone calls.
It was also found out that medical providers are very reluctant in adoption of EHR because they lack the technical ability and skill to operate and use the EHR machines. This is because there was no proper preparation through equipping them with necessary skills before adopting the system.
Most of the mid career and old doctors have had some deep misgivings that that adoption of the EHR will enlighten the patients thus denying the doctors the autonomous privileges they have been enjoying. Some have argued that the EHRs evaluate and give the report on the care provided by an individual medical provider thus making them less autonomous. This also brings about the proper way to ensure the privacy and security of the patients, health information (Walker, Bieber, & Richards, 2005).
The role of HIM in dealing with issues affecting the adoption of EHRs
Despite all the issues affecting the implementation of the EHRs, the Health Information Management Association (HIMA) has put in lot efforts to ensure that the EHR system is fully implemented and adopted. The HIMA acts as an educating body to teach all the concerned bodies in the best way to access and use the health information collected. Since the HIM have been trained both in information technology and management, they are mandated to lead in the promotion and adoption of the EHR system and setting as examples before other members of medical service follow.
HIM also ensures that the required health information where it is needed whenever it is needed for decision-making. This is done by standardizing the regional data format systems and structures of the system. The association also ensures that there is the proper coordination the health information system that comprises of data, information, process, and users to avoid the information flow lapses.
In dealing with the issues arising from insecurity and the privacy of the patients, health information, the HIM facilitates the use of electronic exchange in accessing and using of the health information while ensuring the security and privacy of the information. This is normally done by ensuring that the information complies with federal laws covering all the involved parties. They also act as educators to educate consumers on the safest way to access their health information.
Having been trained both as information technology and as management, HIM ensures smooth adoption of health information technology (HIT). They are therefore mandated in the promotion and adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Public Health Records (PHRs).
Adoption of EHRs demands for the change in the administration system in order to align with the Health Information Technology. In order to cope well with this kind of administration, the system demands the formation of the collaborative governance body. In such kind of governance, requires someone who can facilitate both information technology and management. Therefore, the HIM association assumes more powers and takes a leading role in decision making concerning Health Information Technology (HIT).
The proposal to adopt the Electronic Health Recording system in the health care sector in the United States of America by the medicine institute was aimed at improving the services offered to the patients. The then president George W Bush conceived the idea positively. The government then started an initiative to set some incentives to ensure that the system was fully adopted within three decades. Some of the services have already adopted the systems while others have failed due to several issues that hindered the full implementation. However, the government is fully committed to ensure that all the medical providers have adopted the EHR system. The Health Information Management Association has been mandated to ensure that the system is fully implemented by 2015 by coming up with the best ways that can be used during the implementation. The HIMA also ensures that all the issues arising because of implementation of the EHR are fully solved (Baylina, & Moreira, 2011)
Baylina, P., & Moreira, P. (2011). Challenging healthcare-associated infections: a review of healthcare quality management issues. Journal of Management & Marketing In Healthcare, 4(4), 254-264. doi:10.1179/175330311X13016677137770
Francis, T. (2013). Electronic Health Records: Where we are and where we are going. Physician Executive, 39 (4), 82-84.
Friedman, D. J., Parrish, R., & Ross, D. A. (2013). Electronic Health Records and US Public Health: Current Realities and Future Promise. American Journal of Public Health, 103 (9), 1560-1567. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301220
Walker, J. M., Bieber, E. J., & Richards, F. (2005). Implementing an electronic health record system. London: Springer.