The Not-So-Dirty Little Secret About Electronic Health Records

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The Not-So-Dirty Little Secret About Electronic Health Records

PrognoCIS

 

PrognoCIS respectfully submits an opposing point of view regarding the “second secret” in Larry Huston’s article. We recognize the perspective written by Mr. Husten; however, he apparently has not spoken with the medical providers that love, live and are proficient in the correct usage of the electronic health record application to healthcare.

EHRs and EHR companies are not all deviants. He boldly states that “…electronic health records were not designed with the primary goal of helping physicians and other healthcare workers provide the best possible healthcare to their patients.”

This statement does not reflect the views of the management or software engineering staff at PrognoCIS. This sweeping statement should have been more precise by nature. Simply bundling an entire industry into one category seems irresponsible to me.

Many EHR companies, from my firsthand experience, have designed their software to work in conjunction with the medical providers’ workflow. This is not an easy task by the stretch of anyone’s imagination to say the least. A provider that can access patient records from virtually any location in a secure and private fashion is better equipped to treat patients effectively and can accurately set a course of treatment based on the history of the patient’s chief complaint. Medical history, family history and medications retrieved in an instant can make a considerable difference for life decisions.

Medical providers, just like participants in any industry, are faced with the challenges of change and the explosion of new means by which they can retrieve data to become more efficient and effective in their day-to-day operations.

ICD-10 is soon to be realized in the medical industry and expected to be mandatory effective October 2015. This means a jump in the number of codes by 54,000. This is a very difficult adjustment to make for way too many providers treating patients. ICD-10-CM codes are the ones designated for use in documenting diagnoses. They are 3-7 characters in length and total 68,000, while ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes are 3-5 digits in length and number over 14,000.

The e-prescribing function many EHRs offer can saves lives due to the efficiency of catching possible errors by way of Drug to drug interactions, or drug to disease interactions for example.

I would recommend a view from different perspectives before boldly casting a net over an entire industry and lumping them into this category. Many EHRs have been written and shaped with medical doctors and nurses specifically to fulfill medical content and desired workflow.

Author: Chris Ferguson