Electronic Medical Records
Some of the patients who visit Dr. Adkins and Dr. Brooks have expressed concern that electronic medical records may not be private enough and that their health information will be “floating around on the internet.” They are worried that unauthorized individuals could somehow access their information on the computer and do them harm.
How might Sloan alleviate the patients’ fears about their records being available on the Internet to so many people?
What disadvantages with regard to confidentiality are associated with the EMR?
For patients who say they are uncomfortable with electronic records, explain how they have built-in patient safety alerts and that they allow different doctors to share their health history, meaning patients don’t have to remember the names of all their medications or the dates of every past surgery. For patients who say they are uncomfortable with electronic records, explain the security features: Built-in patient safety alerts the flexibility that allows different doctors to share the same health history, removing the burden from patients of remembering every medication and operation. One of the chief disadvantages to electronic medical records is that start up costs are enormous. Not only must you buy equipment to record and store patient charts (much more expensive than paper and file cabinets), but efforts must be taken to convert all charts to electronic form. Patients may be in the transitional state, where old records haven’t yet been converted and doctors don’t always know this. Further, training on electronic medical records software adds additional expense in paying people to take training, and in paying trainers to teach practitioners.