The healthcare industry has undergone drastic changes in the last decade, which currently seems to be continuing that trend exponentially. With the emergence of the internet, and the technological advances with computers, people everywhere are becoming very comfortable with computer assisted devices integrating every aspect of our daily lives. This very idea has been embraced by the healthcare industry, as we can now see robots delivering medications to inpatient units, robotic surgery becoming standard in many specialties, and most importantly the emergence of electronic healthcare records (EHR)s. This technology has led to a transition from a monetary-driven healthcare system to a quality-driven healthcare system (Nelson, 2016).
EHRs have revolutionized the healthcare system and patient care. Baker (2016) noted that EHR systems have led to advancements, such as patient portals, which provides a secure way for patient and providers to communicate wirelessly and without an appointment, as well as the ability for healthcare systems to safely and securely transfer patient and files between providers and other facilities with ease. Tavares (2016) noted that due to rising costs and the current air of fiscal responsibility invading healthcare, many organizations see EHRs as a means for allowing patients to take a more active role in their healthcare, thereby allowing the system to be more efficient and cost-saving.
With the passage of the HITECH Act of 2009, and the implementation of the “meaningful use” incentives, many organizations are looking to efficiency metrics to fulfill some of these requirements (Neumeier, Butler, and Fuqua, 2016). Attaallah, Elzamzamy, Phelps, Ranganthan and Vallejo (2016) noted that one way of using an EHR for fiscal responsibility to fulfill the “meaningful use” incentive program by monitoring operating room metrics in order to assess efficiency, increase revenue through analyzing turn-over room times, and reducing overall expenses. All of these are just a few of the examples of progress to the healthcare field which have come as a result of the use of EHRs. No doubt this is just the beginning of great achievements to come from EHRs.
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