I believe that the medical community has a glorious chance to advance the quality of healthcare by a significant measure. I also believe, after working with the deployment and implementation of major electronic health records for the past five years, that the only downside Ive seen is the old syndrome of garbage in, garbage out. The technical platform of EHRs is a database that documents the patient encounter in either the classicalor subjective, objective, assessment, and plan, or SOAPnote method. With all respect to Pam Gibsons contention, it seems that what little downside her audits have uncovered are those of bad implementation. The only people who are likely to enter patient information are the providers, nurses and medical technicians. Outside of that, the EHR doesnt make things up.
Thoughtful application beats early EHR challenges
Theres one hard and inflexible axiom in the implementation of EHRs: They definitely will change the way things are done. But, I hasten to mention that Ive seen good attitudes and thoughtful application beat the initial challenges into submission, over and over again.
A bigger question I would pose: Is there any way in the grand scheme of things that putting patient data (accurately) into a database and retrieving it for legal, medical or decisional benefit is not the right thing to do?
Leon Stafford IIHealthcare IT consultantOrganizational SolutionsCanton, Ga.
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