Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Electronic Health Records: Pros & Cons

Career News August 1, 2013

The health care industry is rapidly changing, and along with changes in the practice of medicine are changes in the business of medicine. Medical offices that at one point in time, set aside large rooms for the storage of current and past medical records are now slowly converting to electronic health records.

Recently, the United States government passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) bill. This bill has financial incentives in place for medical practices who switch from the old method of paper medical health records to the new electronic method, as long as the system or software is certified and practice can demonstrate meaningful use of the system. Meaningful use includes electronic prescriptions, as well as electronic billing, among other uses.

Pros and Cons of Electronic Health Records

As with any dramatic change in modes of operation, the conversion from paper records to electronic records brings with it pros and cons. Weighing the risk versus benefit of both sides will show that, although there may be a few reasons that validate some level of apprehension in converting, they are short lived and the pros offer many positives for the future of health care and the success of medical practices in a changing environment.

Cons

Converting an office to electronic medical records will present some initial growing pains.

Staff Education – Not only will physicians and other medical practitioners have to adjust the way they have approached patient care. All office staff will have to adjust from the way documentation in records is made to patient billing. This will include initial education and practice on the electronic health records system or software put in place.

Conversion – Old paper records do not just disappear. Most paper charts will need to be scanned into electronic form and placed in the new patient records. Older paper charts that are not scanned to electronic form will still need to be stored for a period of time.

Cost – Perhaps one of the biggest deterrents for making the switch to electronic health records is the cost. The initial money for the system, the training and the hardware needed can be significant. This will also include the cost of an offsite backup storage system to protect the integrity of the electronic health records in the case of a disaster.

Pros

While the cons may seem to be significant, they are short lived and off set over a period of time and as the new systems gain more use.

Financial Incentives – Eligible medical professionals who qualify under Medicare and take advantage of implementing a certified electronic health records system by demonstrating meaningful use of the system can receive up to $45,000 in incentives. Eligible professionals who qualify under Medicaid can receive up to $63,000 in incentives. There is also an additional financial bonus for practices in rural and underserved areas.

Billing – While methods of billing will initially change, electronic health records will present a more uniform method of billing and submitting to insurance companies. This will reduce billing errors, coding errors, and rejected claims while increasing revenue.

Task Management – Electronic health records will streamline the office procedures necessary to keep up with changes in patient records. Prescriptions will be sent electronically reducing wait times. Multiple office staff will be able to work in the same chart simultaneously reducing staff hours, and orders for imaging and laboratory tests, as well as the results will be in electronic form and can be sent directly to the patient’s electronic health records without staff intervention or delay.

Coding – Changes are coming in billing and coding as the United States switches from ICD-9 to ICD-10. While the change in billing may present some “bumps” in the road, an electronic health records system can facilitate the change more smoothly.

Availability – One of the most significant pros for the new electronic health records is that patients will eventually have access to their medical records online through secured connections. This will make it easier to get information when needed, switching between providers and when records are needed in emergency situations.

When looking at the change from old cumbersome paper health records to the new electronic health records systems, there are pros and cons. There are many different systems and choices available for every level of health care, as well as the support necessary to make the conversion as seamless as possible.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ready to Start Your Career? Get More Info From Fortis Today.
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!