Clinical Information System Response Times
A Compuware survey of health care professionals from organizations large and small revealed the majority are not satisfied with clinical information system response times.
The Department of Health and Human Services is expanding patients' control over their medical information.
Dark Reading reports that rules announced this week are a signpost on the way to full electronic medical recrod (ERM) adoption, which is slated for 2014. The story says that they "strengthen and expand" the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The rules restrict disclosures and place companies associated with HIPAA-covered entities under many of the same rules as the covered organizations themselves, the story says. The piece adds that new rules on the sale of information for marketing and fundraising have been added.
It is difficult, and probably unnecessary, to divide EMR from the health care reform laws that passed earlier this year and the general meshing of medicine and electronic communications. Last week, Knowledge Networks released a survey conducted in conjunction with the Physicians Consulting Network that quizzed almost 11,000 health care professionals on their mobile device habits. The bottom line: Medical professionals like their gadgets.
As with any huge topic, EMR and digital medical records have their benefits and drawbacks. This Q&A in the Wall Street Journal with Sharona Hoffman, an EMR expert, professor of law and bioethics and co-director of the Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, suggests that the positives outweigh the negatives. The positives are well documented and easy to understand. However, people may overlook the areas in which care must be taken, which can be less obvious. According to Hoffman:
There can be software bugs, there can be computer shutdowns. Some systems are so complicated they actually hinder the ability of the doctor [to care for the patient]. Doctors have only about 15 minutes per patient, and more of that time may be spent trying to fiddle with the computer - it can take time away from patient interaction.
Clearly, EMR is a hot topic for a reason: An electronic medical profile can save a life in an emergency and generally lead to better care in the long term. However, it is important to remember that a technology this broad, complex and all-encompassing must be dealt with carefully. It also is vital to recognize that these are politically charged issues and even things that make perfect sense don't rollout quickly.