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Communication and Information Technology

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Communication and Information Technology

Jessica Stroklund

Health Care Communication Strategies – HCS/320

June 11, 2012

Daniel Speer – Facilitator

Communication and Information Technology

        Medical records are an important pillar of healthcare, for both the patients and phycsians.  Without a record of how health care was performed, or a way to track a patient’s progress or care, health care would be a difficult task.  Electronic medical record keeping has become the cornerstone of most medical practices (Electronic Health Records, 2011).

        Electronic medical record keeping is beneficial to communication between physicians and patients, as well as between different care givers.  Communication is an important part of healthcare, without it care could be hindered.  Patients need to be able to accurately communicate with their providers, and every staff member within a medical facility needs to be able to communicate with each other as well as other facilities.  If a physician is able to pull up health care records and know exactly what treatment plans are, health care becomes much more manageable.  For those patients who have to be referred to other physicians, accurate medical records are a necessity.  Medical record keeping is required to be kept by the law (Electronic Health Records, 2011); it can be presented as prima fascia evidence in cases of malpractice suits, or patient dissatisfaction cases.

        Electronic medical record keeping is the most up to date and reliable form of record keeping.  It is a way to keep all medical information in one place and kept readily available. While the initial cost of changing to an EMR system may be substantially higher than the low cost of simple data entry, it is a money saver when it comes to storage.  Most states require medical records to be kept for a minimum of seven years (Wikipedia, 2012), the storage space required to hold all medical records for all patients is very costly.  When a patient is referred to a new physician or practice, finding and gathering all records and films can be a daunting challenge if they are all in hard copy.  Keeping all records electronically is very helpful on these two fronts, just being able to send all records to another facility rather than having to pay the shipping cost and they time that it may take for the records to arrive are both unfavorable repercussions of keeping paper copies of all records.


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