“Greenway Medical Technologies: The Pace-Setting David of Electronic Health Records"
The above case study outlines the potential value offered by electronic healthcare records (EHR) but also raises a number of issues. The case material is comprehensive but, in essence, focuses on the improving the management of doctors’ offices through the application of information technology and systems. The requirement for this case study is to analyse the IT value issues of EHR so that a business case can be developed for management of a doctor’s practice.
You are required to analyse the case material provided to you and produce a report to management with the title: The Business Case for Investing in EHR within a Doctor’s Practice. You should identify the issues in the case material that have relevance to a business case and produce a written report from the information available. To understand the issues associated with EHR you should not only rely on the information provided in the case study but also conduct your own research. EHR is very topical and there is much information available through the ECU e-library. A sample journal article relevant to the topic titled “Information Technology Issues in Healthcare: Hospital CEO and CIO Perspectives” is provided with the case material.
You must also consider the ethical and social implications of the implementation of such as system.
1. Background information: A general practitioner plays a vital and crucial role in a society, as they are responsible for analysing the health of their patients. They are destined to provide proper care and medications to their patients by diagnosing their issues. Therefore, they have immense responsibilities within healthcare environment, as they need to understand their patient's pain including the social attributes. There are situations when doctors need to take decisions regarding patient’s health and therefore, their appropriate diagnosis is prerequisite. Aboujaoude & Starcevic (2015) commented that in order to take decision regarding patient’s health, sometimes they require assistance. This requirement for assistance depends on the nature of illness of their patients. Erb et al. (2015) opined that doctors apart from recovering the patient from illness provide ample knowledge and information to these patients so that they could lead a healthy life. Doctors are also allocated with tasks to deal with the patient's family members as they become anxious with their patient's health. Therefore, in all spheres of medical environment, doctors play a major role in recovering their patient's health and provide them with normal pain-free life.
These general practitioners need to record their patient's health status for future usage. There are scenarios where doctors need to refer to other doctor and therefore, these records are essential. These referred doctors need to understand their patient's medical history and therefore, these recordings are vital. Duckett & Willcox (2015) have commented that this collection of records needs to be error-free as it involves data of patients. Incorrect information regarding patient's health could affect the health and diagnostic technique of their patients. Moreover, wrong information about health could also delay the analysis made by doctors. Therefore, in order to make the analysis and recording of patient's information, doctors have used various technologies and tools. These would help the doctors to record the patient's health status effectively. The electronic health record is one of the automatic techniques used by doctors to record their patient’s health effects. Gimbel et al. (2017) opined that electronic health records sometimes use cloud technology in order to secure information that is stored within it.
Furthermore, Allen & Flack (2016) opined that this use of cloud technology help the doctors to secure their patient's information without fearing any third party intervention.
Moreover, this electronic health records also uses several other promising technologies in order to secure and store medical information. Doctors need to record the medical history along with medications and this would help other doctors to provide proper treatment and care to these patients. In Australia, Medlink health record offers several tools and techniques in order to help securing patient information. This software is easy to use by doctors and therefore, this us user-friendly. This automatically generates letters from the consultation letters of doctors (Ben-Assuli, 2015). Therefore, doctors do not generate manually data. Moreover, this software has an additional feature where doctors could hand-draw images within the file and this software stores information regarding pathology, medications along with general notes related to their patients.
2. Executive summary: Healthcare professionals have several issues while documenting their patient’s data. This report has been created in order to align the needs and requirements of the patients. Doctors use manual paper documentation in order to store information regarding patient's data. In recent years, there has been an upsurge of the use of technology. People tend to become more dependent on the use of technology and therefore, this has been implemented in this medical profession. In order to ease doctors, doctors to store patient information have used electronic health records. Medical history of patients needs to be assessed by doctors and it is merely not possible to bring all the manual paper files by these patients. However, this paper documentation tends to be expensive and fragile. EHR uses cloud-based computing technology that secure information from any third party intervention. Therefore, this helps the doctors to secure information regarding patient's health. Since, in this case, less time is required, therefore; doctors count concentrate more on their patients in providing medications.
The use of EHR saves time and therefore, this is prerequisite in case of medical environment. The doctors, as well as staff members, need to be provided with proper training regarding the use of documentation procedure. Several nonfinancial tasks like appointments and invoicing are performed by this EHR. These electronic health records automatically update data and information related to their patients. A major limitation of this review is a limited number of references used. This EHR has immense benefits apart from storing information. Medilink is one of these electronic records that secures information and stores data regarding patients. Henceforth, the use of this EHR is beneficial in case of doctors in securing information.
3. Key recommendations: Doctors or general practitioners need to ensure proper handling of information and data related to their patients. This would further assure patient’s sound health and proper diagnosis of their illness. Therefore, in order to make this task easier, electronic health records have been discovered. These records would provide all the required credentials of their patient’s medications and illness so that doctors do not find any issue while medicating their patients. However, it has been seen that these doctors often face various issues while delivering services to their patients and therefore, some recommendations are provided below that could ease the doctors handling these records.
Primary recommendations: In medical environment, patient's health is prerequisite and therefore, the doctors need to assure proper recording and securing of data related to their patients. Adler et al. (2016) commented that these records are critical, as they would enlighten the doctors regarding their patient's status of health. However, there are situations where these doctors mishandle these recordings and this affects the health of their patients.
Secondary recommendations: Apart from medications and consultation, doctors and staff members need to appoint, invoice and claim various processes. The staff members perform these functions. Apart from securing and storing information and data, electronic health records are also used for appointment purposes.
4. Strategic context: One of the main roles of these general practitioners is to provide continuous benefits to their patients so that they do not get affected. It is essential to provide appropriate medications and care to their patients so that their health gets improved. Patient's health is one of the prerequisites of any doctors and their information and data needs to be secured appropriately.
These practitioners need to check these data properly before implementing them. Gellert, Ramirez & Webster (2015) commented that these records would include details about medication and therapies that are administered to patients. Cohen et al. (2013) argued that every patient have medical history and therefore, most of the doctors record inappropriately. Henceforth, doctors need to use electronic health records in order to secure and store information. Kerai, Wood & Martin (2014) commented that this storing information with the help of software is essential as they could be operated automatically. Furthermore, Elmore et al. (2016) argued and commented that these doctors before storing data and medical record need to review this information. This form of reviewing data is essential in order to validate data. Therefore, it is usually recommended to use digital health records, as these generally do not possess any issue.
In case of manual health record collection, patients need to carry health files to their doctors and these doctors need to study the entire files before diagnosing the patients to understand their health issues. Furthermore, in case of multiple files, these patients need to carry many files at a time and therefore, this creates a major problem. The doctors need to study the files and then medicate the patients and sometimes reading files may become risky and complicated. Therefore, Adair et al. (2016) opined that in such scenarios, patient’s data if recorded in some software then the patients do not need to carry files.
Current state- The following are some of the current practices that are prevalent in health care centres and their related issues are discussed-
Therefore, it has been seen from the above-mentioned constraints that the doctors face various issues while dealing with paper documentation. Doctors need to ensure proper documentation of their patient's data so that they could be assessed properly in future without having any issues.
Future state- The future needs of doctors within the healthcare system are as follows-
It has been seen that doctors need to use electronic records, as this would mitigate the issues faced by these doctors. Furthermore, Cahill & Makadon (2014) have commented that these practitioners need to secure the data and information related to their patients. Medilink is one of the health record vendors that offer variety of services. Kush et al. (2015) opined that electronic health records serve many benefits as they could secure information of the health care status of the patients.
Mitigation steps- The reasons and the major benefits that these electronic health record serves have been formulated as below-
Therefore, it is essential for these doctors to secure information and data using electronic health records. Moreover, these records work under cloud technology and therefore, this helped in securing their data. It is the duty of the doctors and staff members to ensure and protect details of their patients. Therefore, this EHR is beneficial for these doctors to secure details of their patients.
5. Analysis of the investment: Electronic health records provide various advantages to its users. This record provides financial benefits as well as quality services to the doctors. EHR provides several financial as well as non-financial benefits to its users. Furthermore, Claggett, Watson & Boudreau (2011) commented that electronic health records do not have any issue regarding their set-up. Medilink is one of the most used Australian software that has various implications for in the healthcare professionals. Moreover, they are quite cost-effective as well as user-friendly. Therefore, the professionals do not have any issue with their setup. Moreover, being user-friendly, this software could be used by staff members.
Financial benefits: It has been seen that in case of Medilink, the starting price is about AUD 950 and this is the first time payment. Furthermore, Gajanayake, Iannella & Sahama (2014) commented that once installed, this software would not have any further issue with their implementation. Doctors find these easy to handle and therefore staff members could easily use this software. Free version of this software is easily available and therefore, installing this software is not an issue. Doctors could easily install this software and use them without paying. Therefore, with the help of this free version, doctors could easily use this without any payment. Moreover, this software is based on cloud Saas and therefore storing data is beneficial and easier.
Non-financial benefits- Medilink provides various advantages to its users. This documentation records all essential data and information of the patients. Gellert, Ramirez & Webster (2015) opined that this record stores information regarding patient's health and alert doctors regarding their illness. These health records generate consultation letters automatically. Cohen et al. (2013) commented that these electronic health records review the history of the patients. Therefore, this allows the doctors to understand their patient's illness merely by looking at the documentation. Understanding and detailed information related to patient's radiology and general letters are essential and this medilink stores information, thereby allowing doctors to mediate properly. As a result, these documentations are essential for securing and storing patient data that could be used by other doctors. Sometimes patient’s health becomes serious and in those circumstances, securing information is essential that could be revised by the doctors.
Implementation risks: In order to set up this medilink software, there are certain risk factors that need to be determined while installing this software. The following are some of the risks factors that occur at the time of implementation of this software.
However, besides these above-mentioned risk factors, another major risk of this implementation is resistance by the doctors and staff members. Staffs might be unwilling to implement this software as these might affect and change their habits. It is essential to train the doctors as well as staff members before implementing this software.
6. Benefits of realization: The hospital staff members and doctors are the end users of this EHR. Therefore, one of the major benefits of this implementation is a change in the entire management within the healthcare unit. These members need to have adequate training regarding this implementation of techniques and software before using them. This would imply proper usage of this software. Kerai, Wood & Martin (2014) opined that this EHR could also be used in order to supervise project life cycle. Therefore, this implementation of EHR has immense benefits in terms of securing information of patients that ultimately improves the health status of them.
7. Ethical and social implications: The doctors need to ensure proper documentation of information related to their patients. Elmore et al. (2016) have commented that doctors need to seek permission from patient’s family members before consulting with other doctors. Therefore, information or data regarding patient's medical history should not be disclosed to other doctors as per the Data Protection Act 1998. One of the potential risks related to the use of this EHR is intervention by their party. Proper encryption of data and use of cloud computing technology are essential in order to store information and data (Journals of Health & Medical Informatics, 2018). Therefore, the doctors need to be properly trained regarding the use of this EHR.
8. Limitations: The major limitation of this review is inadequacy of data and information regarding the use of this EHR. Moreover, the databases included in this study had login constraints that restricted the usage of data and information (Cahill & Makadon, 2014). There were lower numbers of references that have been used in this article band this also served as other major limitations of this study. Henceforth, a proper analysis of the use of EHR and their benefits could not be analysed appropriately.
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Appendix 1: Issues of health care facility