The Electronic Medical Record
Computer technology actively continues to evolve while scientists successfully promote innovations in medicine. Many hospitals and clinics use modern software that offers smooth operational processing and safe storage of all information. One of the main innovations is an electronic medical record, a tool that keeps patient’s data on diseases and overall conditions. It resembles a collection of both major and minor health issues a person had starting from the early childhood. Such s progressive instrument can help to organize the work of medical professionals and to gather medical history. Moreover, patients will need less time to search for the records from doctors’ visits, laboratory analysis, or ultrasound researches. Thus, this software is vitally important in the effective treatment and further examinations. However, it has also various advantages and disadvantages that should be thoroughly analyzed.
The Advantages of the Electronic Medical Record
The electronic medical record has many advantages. In fact, the benefits of the new system prevail compared to a paper medical records that are still common in digitalized society. Medical staff understands how long and uncomfortable can be the process of finding the required information in the card file. Besides, there are cases when a long search does not lead to the desired result, and the patient’s card is not eventually in place (Scott, Rundall, Vogt, & Hsu, 2016). The electronic medical record gives an opportunity to adapt the data to current records much quicker. It means that it simplifies the maintenance of every case. Moreover, doctors often cannot timely supply paper records with information about performed medical procedures and their outcomes. Such situation may significantly hamper the process of interaction with patients. The electronic medical record provides rapid changes without further loss. In fact, sometimes the paper record can be either lost or disregarded (Scott et al., 2016). Modern innovations allow patients and doctors to stop worrying since the data can be fully and safely stored in the cloud storage of medical institution. Indeed, physicians can take notes throughout the person's life. This feature is highly important because the patient may forget or not know that he has an allergic reaction to certain medicine (Gartee, 2007). Moreover, the doctor can personally analyze diagnoses, information on the tolerability of drugs, and other important data (Mohamed, 2014). Moreover, all the mistakes of the employees appear in the system in real time. As a result, doctors can fix or remove them immediately (Gartee, 2007). Another important element is an instant access to the records from any location because the professionals who work in a particular health care facility can also run the same software (Gartee, 2007). For example, a surgeon who is checking the medical history of a patient can examine conclusions by other doctors involved in the treatment. The central feature that is useful for the patients is an opportunity to facilitate the treatment process. The patients do not have to waste time in order to receive the medical history. This information is in the cloud storage of the medical institution enabling others to access it directly in this system (Scott et al., 2016). Besides, the electronic medical records keep information related to a medical history of a patient. Thanks to the electronic record, he can view the dynamics of visits to a doctor. Therefore, the electronic medical record is an innovative tool that functions smoothly.
In fact, a clinic also gains a substantial benefit from the electronic medical record. For example, the success of treatment becomes higher due to the standardization and control of every action. This system promotes the growth of profitability and average check by optimizing the workflows. Besides, it contributes to the extension of the customer base by improving the quality of care. In fact, a client of a medical institution will return in the future with a great desire and loyalty to the service (Zaleski, 2009). Furthermore, the use of electronic medical record reduces the level of dependence on personnel changes. Thе process of adaptation and training is not time-consuming for this program (Scott et al., 2016). Therefore, the electronic platform helps to systematize and improve the efficiency and income of the clinic.
The advantages of electronic medical record increase because this modern medical document has a multitude of functional features. Undoubtedly, the system is simple and stable (Gartee, 2007). For example, to gain access to information about a particular patient, a specialist only needs to dial a name in the search bar (Mohamed, 2014). Moreover, a doctor can rapidly check the analysis, transfer of data, and print it (Scott et al., 2016). Thanks to the above-mentioned benefits, experts had noticed that electronic medical records have a greater number of significant advantages in contrast to paper-based records.
The Weaknesses of the Electronic Medical Record
There is a wide range of weaknesses of the electronic medical record. Firstly, the information is available to the third parties. The programmers who monitor the software have access to the records (Mohamed, 2014). Such situation increases the risk of information leakage, which may have a negative aspect for the patient (Sridhar, 2013). Secondly, it depends on the electronic database. There are often cases of electric energy loss or software failure that pose a threat to records (Zaleski, 2009). Thirdly, it is an educational problem because medical staff has no experience in working with similar programs (Sridhar, 2013). Medical workers can make a mistake and confuse the diagnosis or treatment. Consequently, they should train profoundly before being able to use the platform. Another weakness is the high cost of software implementation in the hospitals, which can be an obstacle to further proliferation of network. Moreover, to launch the identification cards to all patients is also a complex and expensive mission (Zaleski, 2009). Another drawback is the fact that a vast array of existing regulations in the healthcare is stored in the paper form nowadays. Thus, many heads of medical institutions are not ready for a widespread introduction of electronic medical records and major restructuring in the medical organization. Besides, there is a long period of parallel existence of electronic and paper documents. The managing process has many complications in the regulation and priority of the documents. Lastly, it is the complexity of the legal value issue, which is an essential element for the expansion of their use (Scott et al., 2016). For example, these difficulties relate to the use of electronic signatures and electronic records in court. Therefore, some weak elements emphasize imperfections of the electronic medical record.
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The electronic medical record is an electronic document designed for storing medical records, research, and information about the patient’s case. Among the advantages of this innovative platform are the wide availability and easiness of search, simplification of optimization, and increased control. Besides, this tool provides a reliable protection and conservation of information, increased profitability, and high quality of service. In contrast, the availability of information to third parties, dependence on the electric energy, a legal value, the problem of education, and the high cost of the software are the weaknesses of the electronic medical record. Therefore, there are more advantages than drawbacks of this innovation. Thus, an electronic medical record is an effective tool that helps to improve the health system.