As our population steadily grows, so does the need for quality health care services that focus on specific needs of each patient. Our bodies are complex organisms, constantly changing in response to internal stimuli, our environment, and many other factors. With this being said, every health care organization is searching for methods to increase quality of care for each patient to reach desirable results.
The meaningful use of technology in the health care industry has produced positive waves of changes in the way information is accessed for each patient. Electronic medical records have been able to optimize the processing times of each patient, increasing the speed at which patients receive the care they need. They have also been able to eliminate the amount of mistakes in medical records that occur because of human error triggered by mental fatigue, a busy work environment, and minimal staff to assist a large body of patients.
The benefits associated with this bill ultimately lower the price of health care services for patients and professionals. Critical access hospitals are targeted under this legislation, allowing for certain financial incentives of utilizing the meaningful use of electronic health records. Subsequently, the Obama Administration has put aside roughly twenty million dollars to encourage the transition to electronic medical records.
Electronic health records not only influence patient care and quality services, but also influences how well the individual facility is able to process information in all scopes of their operations. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) was formed in 2009 in order to inspire the economic state of many industries, including the health care industry. This bill proposed many changes that could ultimately make the lives of doctors and health care professionals much easier.
• Enhanced clinical documentation
• Faster workflow
• Faster processing speeds
• Better database management
• Increased security
So why are medical facilities not incorporating the use of this widespread technology that can eliminate errors and potentially cut overhead costs? Every industry in the corporate world have begun using advanced technologies to improve their general workflow, however, the medical industry is one exception. Eighty five percent of Doctors meet the Recovery Act with resistance because they question the cost of implementing the service in conjunction with actual savings that are proposed to be a result of utilizing EMR’s.
Even with price incentives in place, many doctors are resistant to this new form of technology initially created to reduce the chance of mistakes and drug interactions in patients. “Currently, however, only 17 percent of physicians in ambulatory care settings use them to any extent, and only 11 percent of hospitals have fully implemented them.” These staggering statistics indicate that healthcare professionals are overwhelmed by the amount of changes and training needed to help their growing number of patients.
As a response, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was created by Congress to answer these direct concerns. This bill stipulates that health care organizations can receive up to $44,000 in Medicare or $63,750 in Medicaid incentive payments if they begin using this technology. However, this bill has inspired the same response that left researchers in awe.
Researchers estimate that more time would be needed to make a full transition to the meaningful use of electronic medical records. However, with the rapid increase in the amounts of patients that need immediate care, electronic medical records are the last thing on their minds. Although the benefits of using a new system of documenting medical information seems lucrative on every level, putting it into action is proving to be quite a challenge throughout the health care industry.