Benefits and Challenges for EHRs essay

I Introduction

The introduction of EHRs raises the public debate because, on the one hand, EHRs are definitely positive and beneficial, whereas, on the other hand, EHRs raise a number of negative issues. Healthcare professionals often stand for the wide implementation of EHRs, while civil rights activists and average individuals often oppose to the introduction of EHRs because they feel threats to their privacy and information security. Nevertheless, the technological progress opens wider opportunities for the wider use of EHRs in the contemporary healthcare system. The introduction of EHRs needs the evaluation of both strengths and drawbacks of EHRs. However, benefits of EHRs definitely outweigh possible risks and threats because the introduction of EHRs will increase the quality and effectiveness of healthcare services that may save the life of patients, while security and privacy issues may be solved due to the use of advanced information security system.

II Benefits of implementing EHRs

A Clinicians

Clinicians stands for the introduction of EHRs because they help to promote evidence-based decision making. EHRs provide healthcare professionals with large opportunities to obtain the detailed information on the history of the patient and treatment of his or her health problems (Stalker, et al, 2009). Obviously, this view is reasonable because EHRs can have a positive effect on the performance of healthcare professionals and information sharing between healthcare professionals. Therefore, EHRs seems to be reasonable for clinicians.

At the same time, EHRs allow easy access to support information that can help healthcare professionals to increase the effectiveness of treatment (Kirkman-Liff, 1994). In fact, every detail does matter in the treatment of patients. Therefore, healthcare professionals can reveal possible correlations between current health problems of patients and their past health history (Fleming, 2011). In such a way, EHRs are helpful in the workplace environment for clinicians and facilitate their work that increases the quality of healthcare services and patients’ satisfaction.

B Healthcare managers

EHRs are beneficial not only for healthcare professionals but also for healthcare managers because EHRs contribute to the easy workflow management. In fact, EHRs help to manage and process information faster and more effectively (Ekmekci & C.L. Turley 2008). EHRs will contribute to the transfer of the healthcare information into the electronic form and healthcare managers will not need to process large volume of information in the print or written form. Therefore, EHRs are definitely beneficial for healthcare managers. At this point, it is important to understand that the effective healthcare management leads to the overall improvement of the quality of healthcare services. Hence, patients will also benefit from the introduction of EHRs.

In addition, EHRs lead to cost reductions because the automation of information processing and change of the form of storage of the information on health records will need less staff and time being spent on the collection, processing and management of the information (Nulan, 2001). In this regard, automation is very helpful in terms of the cost reduction. Today, the cost reduction is extremely important especially in the field of healthcare services because healthcare costs are skyrocketing that makes healthcare services unavailable for a large number of people.

C Patients

Patients will also benefit from EHRs because they will get easy access to Personal Health Records. For instance, patients can access their EHRs online. They will be able to track any changes in their health records and find any information from their health records they need at the moment. Patients are the primary concern of the national healthcare system. Hence, EHRs should be beneficial for patients.

In fact, EHRs contribute to the easy records retrieval. Patients will not need to go to hospital or their physician to get access to their health records. They can use online access or they can just store their EHRs on any portable device they like as long as the device can provide them with the possibility to read their EHRs. Therefore, EHRs are time saving because patients can retrieve data on their health records easy and fast.

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