Electronic Medical Records

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's November 2001

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Modern healthcare relies on decades old technology and forms of communication, which can no longer satisfy the collective needs of caregivers. Patient health records largely remain as they were 40 years ago. The vast majority of physicians still utilize handwritten prescriptions and paper charts. Current patient records are subject to many flaws, such as missing and incomplete data entries, unavailability because of use and the general inability to be combined and manipulated. Very few physicians are electronically linked to pharmacies or other providers, even within the same organization or facility. Most medication data is not exchanged among providers, and when it is, it is usually in paper document format. The result is that no one provider has access to, or sees, the total medication picture and is never completely sure of the patient's past medical history.

Without integrated data, it is difficult to know if the medication is working. Consolidated medication data can show signs of increasing dosage or combination therapy, possibly indicating the progression of a disease.

The consolidation of patient medication data across all healthcare providers and its integration with other patient record data addresses established industry objectives of: patient focused care, optimal drug therapy, continuity of care and positive patient outcomes. It benefits everyone involved by assisting the various caregivers in making correct assessments and administering proper medication treatments. Adopting efficient courses of action, or clinical pathways for patients with similar diagnosis or procedures is critical to the planning, delivering and measuring of patient care. The establishment of treatment protocols and standards of care are becoming an important part of healthcare delivery. Determining proper medication treatments can only be achieved through the analysis of consolidated medication data.

The consolidation and integration of medication data helps managed care providers in evaluating physician activity, prescribing patterns and effectiveness for...