Process Level Benefits of an Electronic Medical Records System
Abirami Radhakrishnan (Morgan State University, USA), Dessa David (Morgan State University, USA) and Jigish Zaveri (Morgan State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008
The challenges faced by U.S. health care system are vividly explained in the U.S. Government’s health information technology plan, The U.S. health care system faces major challenges. Health care spending and health insurance premiums continue to rise at rates much higher than the rate of inflation. Despite spending over $1.6 trillion on health care, there are still serious concerns about preventable errors, uneven health care quality, and poor communication among doctors, hospitals, and many other health care providers involved in the care of any one person. The Institute of Medicine estimates that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. Many more die or have permanent disability because of inappropriate treatments, mistreatments, or missed treatments in ambulatory settings. It has been found that as much as $300 billion is spent each year on health care that does not improve patient outcomes – treatment that is unnecessary, inappropriate, inefficient, or ineffective. All these problems – high costs, uncertain value, medical errors, variable quality, administrative inefficiencies, and poor coordination – are closely connected to inadequate use of health care information technology. (U.S. Federal Government Health Information Technology Plan, 2004).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Health Care Information System: An arrangement of information technology, people, data, and processes that interact to gather, process, store, and disseminate health care information (adapted from Whitten & Bentley, 2007).
Electronic Medical Records System: An interorganizational information system that captures the essential components of a patient’s medical encounter with the medical provider, including storage and retrieval of subjective, objective patient information, assessment, and plans for patient care (Lenhart et al., 2000).
EMR Process Level Benefit: A benefit measured at the process level after 2 years of adoption and use of Electronic Medical Records System in medical institutions (adapted from Radhakrishnan et al., 2007).