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Electronic Health Records Creating Tech Jobs 2011/08/17

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Digital Archives, Electronic Records, Information Technology (IT), Records Management.
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I saw this interesting article, “When EHRs Meet Malpractice Suits: New Concerns” in Information Week, and it got me wondering: Are EHR systems set up so older versions of a patient’s chart would be accessible?  This would probably be crucial so doctors can “go back” and change someone’s prescriptions, while keeping a “virtual” record of symptoms and reactions and etc.. . .  Not like Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet systems where a change is made or a field or row is deleted, and suddenly everything else changes. . . . leaving no trace of what was there before. . . .

“An electronic health record (EHR) is more than just an electronic representation of a paper chart. It is a legal representation of a
patient’s medical condition and treatment at a given point in time, one that could be admissible in court. And that could present a whole
new set of challenges for healthcare organizations.  “There is no guide out there to walk people through all that changes with an EHR,”
Adam Greene, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, said this week at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Legal EHR Summit in Chicago.

. . . “The general public and even plaintiffs’ attorneys do not always comprehend how EHRs work, Cischke added. Because there is so
much to chart, physicians and nurses are rushed and things get missed.  From the patient’s perspective, all the doctor should have to do is click and check off boxes in a list, but, according to Cischke, physicians often are “overwhelmed” by time and economic pressures, and
skip steps or simply forget to check some boxes. “The metadata will show this,” Cischke said.

I wish I knew the answers, or at least it would be helpful to know that others are aware of these important issues especially when this seems to offer many new job opportunities for digitizing (and I expect organizing and arranging, preserving and storing) electronic health records.

dk
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