Benefits/disadvantages: paper based vs. ehr essay sample

Benefits/Disadvantages: Paper Based VS. EHR Essay Sample

More and more medical practices are turning to Electronic Health Records (EHR). Is this a good thing or bad thing? For decades even centuries healthcare providers have always used paper based medical records. The healthcare industry has been slow to fully intergrade to a digital medical record system. Implementation costs, training staff, and physicians having a difficult time transitioning to a new way of collecting and handling patient information maybe the cause. Some disadvantages to EHR include, availability of data related to privacy and security, such as “ hacking” into patients medical records and obtaining personal information. Others may include too much data, entry errors, downtime procedures, software updates, downtime/crashes, viruses, user error and it’s not human. Some also feel that there is an increased risk for malpractice and false claims lawsuits. Provider’s could “ click” the wrong box causing entry errors.

Too much data allows providers to gravitate toward shortcuts. Hospital administrators and physician office managers hate how expensive EHR’s can be, dread the challenges of converting their systems, and can’t believe the price of the software. I feel that the benefits highly out weigh the challenges of switching to complete EHR. Some of the advantages include increased efficiency, improved quality of care, and portability of patient records. The life saving abilities of medication, surgical, and critical care. Unlike a manual paper system, which gives access to anyone, EHR only allows authorized personnel to access medical records and ability to view, document and transfer records.

Paper records require more personnel to manage and maintain paper files, access, and organize countless documents. Electronic system means less man power and need for less physical storage space. Many healthcare facilities have to store paper medical records in large warehouses that are filled with countless documents, and take up way too much space as well as, the cost to maintain the storage unit. The access of paper medical records that need to be shared with those who need them, must be recovered, then mailed or scanned, which is a time consuming process. The use of electronic medical records allows healthcare professionals to receive the information they need, through the use of email, or specific application or content management system. This allows patients to be treated in a timelier manner and promotes continuity of care. In conclusion, although a paper system is convenient, as a method of documenting and containing medical records, it has hit its prime. In a day and age where everything is electronic and accessible it would only make sense that the healthcare community would follow suit.