Essay 1: Technological Innovations in Healthcare
The Introduction of Electronic Medical Records
The innovation that I have decided to focus on is Electronic Medical Records. An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a computer based file that is used to document care. The idea of the EMR was introduced in 1998. Health Secretary Frank Dobson decided it was time the NHS caught up in order to provide faster, more convenient care. Rapidly the world was becoming a place where online technology was part of day-to-day life, therefore he proposed a seven year plan. It was proposed that the UK would transfer all paper based medical records onto a fully functioning, accessible computer based network (BBC News 1998). The Information for Health Strategy focussed on lifelong medical records that could be accessed 24 hours a day wherever they were needed. The introduction of this technology meant that the entire contents of every patients paper records would be transferred onto a private computer system, information ranging from name, date of birth, past medical history, emails and letters between consultants and patients.
The multi million pound scheme was started with the main aim to modernise health care, including the ability for consultants to eventually be able to access their patients x-rays and test results online. In today's climate health care is constantly revolutionising in order to improve patient care and demand. Upgrades in diagnostic tools and records all contribute to a system with the sole purpose of delivering the best available care. In this assignment I will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of EMR within a healthcare environment. I will also expand on the ways in which some of the disadvantages have been addressed.
In England, there were approximately 24 million attendances at all departments in 2010/11 (Rightcare 2011). It is...