Health Care Meets High-Tech
Oct. 19, 2015
Reporting, tracking, monitoring and charting patients’ personal health information is part of any health care setting. Documentation and charting play a vital role in ensuring appropriate continuity of care, identification of possible diagnoses, assessment and evaluation, and tracking of treatment prognoses. Nearly every aspect of health care providers’ jobs revolve around information on paper. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors in ensuring the privacy of this information in both digital and print mediums.
EFFICIENCY THROUGH ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) enable immediate consultation between different health care providers, such as a primary care physician (PCP) and a specialist, explains the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. EHRs reduce the incidence of misdiagnoses and complications from contraindicated procedures, medications and treatment plans.
HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND EHRS
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), health care providers may receive incentive payments for switching from print documentation to EHRs, which further accelerated their growth into the marketplace. Health care providers must take several factors into consideration when switching to EHRs, though.
Patients need to be given access to their EHRs, security measures must be increased, and any information exchange needs to be structured to the highest possible degree. Furthermore, the rules within the ARRA set forth a precedent for increasing the role of health information technology and management, which may drive the demand for those with a degree in Health Information Management.
PATIENTS AND PRIVACY
Patients retain the right to ask for written notices of how, when, where, and why their protected health information (PHI) is shared, though in some instances exceptions to patient-authorized transfer of information are permitted. Further, health care providers must ensure all transfers of information maintain stringent security standards, enact safeguards to prevent and respond to potential breaches, maintain a strong audit trail, properly train individuals in Health Information Management, and monitor the costs of such security measures, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The world has become a complex, Internet-driven sphere of digitally stored data, health information and EHRs. Unfortunately, hackers will always search for a way to disrupt the legitimate flow of information between health care providers and patients. With an expected growth rate of 22 percent from 2012 to 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a career in Health Information Management is a good option for those who are technologically inclined or patient-centric and eager to enter the growing field of health care.
To learn more about how you can make a difference in protecting the privacy of health care information, contact Concorde Career College today.