Thanks to the advancement of technology, many things these days are quickly and successfully accomplished with great ease and lesser effort. One of the main recipients of the benefits of this innovation is our process of data recording and compilation. These days, a lot of companies and institutions like hospitals make use of electronic devices in order to keep safe pertinent data and facts about different people or events. A good example of this is through the utilization of electronic medical records in compiling and keeping the patient’s data. Nowadays, this is considered to be the current trend in providing health care, which is used by the different members of the health team in providing holistic care to their clients.
Although there are a lot of advantages that can be attained from this type of data recording, there are still a number of cons identified by some experts with regards to the use of the system. So what are the different disadvantages of electronic medical records?
Dissecting the effects of using Electronic Medical Records
Obviously, one of the main disadvantages of using the electronic medical records is that is can be very expensive not just for the hospital using it, but as well as for the patients or the clients. As we can see, computers and other electronic devices come with a very expensive price tag. This is a lot more costly than buying papers and file cabinets in storing the different information about each patient in the hospital. Aside from the monetary demands it can cause, it can also be a huge effort to transfer or convert all the data from the charts to electronic form. Some patients may be in the transitional state, where the old records are not yet converted and some doctors are unaware of this. Aside from the financial burden it can cost on buying the equipment per se, this type of system also requires additional spending in order to hold for trainings, especially the salary for the trainers to teach the practitioners.
Another common disadvantage of using the EMR is that it can take away patient time from nurses and doctors. This is due to the fact that the nurses as well as the physicians are the ones who mainly create the medical record of the patient. Unfamiliarity to technology can significantly detract time from these health practitioners towards their clients. Patients have observed that there is decreased interaction time between them and their doctors due to the diverted focus or attention caused by the unfamiliarity in manipulating these electronic devices. Medical care can also be delayed especially in crowded offices where technology is not reliable. Once problems start to strike like freezing of the computers, it can also take away more time, which can be allotted instead in providing patient care.
Aside from the significant reduction in the interaction of the doctors and their patients, electronic medical records can also depersonalize doctor visits and those calls to the doctor’s office. Many of the patients’ inquiries can now be submitted through email, which is indeed very convenient and fast. However, the response could be delayed as to compare to visiting the doctor’s clinic in person. This is true especially when the doctor is not frequently in touch or updated with his emails. In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are actually a lot of different electronic medical records systems. This is not a good thing since streamlining the patient care is only achieved when a single or common system is being used. This is due to the fact that two different systems are not capable of working together. In case the hospital is using a different type of EMR or EHR in comparison to the one used by the primary care physician, the health records may not be visible or available to the hospital or vice versa from the hospital to the physician. This technique or system can definitely reduce the amount of paperwork; however, the care between the physician/s, pharmacies and as well as allied health workers is not able to coordinate with each other. Because of this, the patient is placed on high risk for medical errors and other acts of negligence.
Last but not the least, the security as well as the confidentiality of the medical records may be placed at stake or may be jeopardized. Since it is all controlled by the computer, hackers are capable of hacking the system enabling them to penetrate to the EMRs and obtain confidential information. Although EMRs are used with many security precautions like passwords, it can still be broken by a skilled or professional hacker. This means that the facts encoded to the computer can be leaked and can cause a huge problem in honoring the patient’s privacy.
Summary and Conclusion
These are some of the common disadvantages or cons of using the electronic medical records. As we can see, the main purpose of creating such electronic device is to provide easier and more accessible way of keeping patient’s data. However, it is also possible to cause other types of problems like security breaching and increased budget demands. This is the reason why we should always make sure that both sides of the matter is weighed carefully before making an important decision that can not only affect the hospital but as well as the lives and care of the patients.
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