ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS AND ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS: AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECTURE FOR HEALTHCARE REFORM
George Washington University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This paper examines the current state of electronic health records and electronic medical records, focusing specifically on how the application of information technology from an information architecture prospective can provide value in improving benefits and reducing costs of healthcare. In order to maximize the benefits of health information technology to individuals and public health, the major stakeholders must find value in any reform measures. A proposed information architecture, focused on patients and physicians will provide a way of integrating (patient-focused) health records and (physician-focused) medical records and thus provide value to all stakeholders and society in general.
The expanded widespread use of information technology in medical record keeping by converting health and medical records into digital form and into national health information networks will enable the appropriate exchange of health information amongst the various actors. The reductions in medical costs and mortality have the potential to be immense, making information technology a vital component of healthcare reform.
While this is a noble and worthwhile endeavor, success faces several challenges ranging from reluctance to Heath Information Technology (HIT) adoption to the complexity in achieving HIT goals. Adoption of HIT innovations is not easy for health practitioners, and to assume so trivializes both the difficult transition period as well as the costs. The abundance and diversity of stakeholders, the complexity of digital record conversions, the lack of standards for record keeping and communications, and the natural reluctance to change, all contribute to the enormity of the effort required. Much of the difficulty of the task is bringing together public and private interests within multiple levels; all the roles, and systems, must harmonize to make this happen.
Keywords: Electronic health records, electronic medical records, information technology.