Evaluating safety of EMR systems.

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In the past decade, the push to digitalize medical records has been in the forefront. Electronic Health records offer the potential to transform the health care system for the better. EHR’s can reduce cost; improve quality and efficiency of care. By having an EHR, medical staff can gain quick access to valuable medical information, to expedite the needed, even, critical life saving care in a timely manner. Currently, more and more healthcare providers are moving toward electronic health records instead of paper-based charts. These records are meant to reduce rates of miscommunication, and misdiagnosis. History has shown us that technology is a proverbial double-edged sword. Technology has successfully been used in treating diseases such as cancer; it has been used for identifying illnesses and administering medication as well as increased efficiency in administering live saving care. Technology also has the potential to create new kinds of problems resulting from software issues, poor implementation, operator error, and data input problems. Technology has been used and continues to be used in improving quality of healthcare, but as history has shown us it can also cause grave harm. Electronic health record systems should be considered medical devices since they have such an impact on human health. Electronic health record systems should be subjected to the same strict regulations that pharmaceuticals computerized systems and medical devices are subjected to; therefore, these systems should be subjected to the same rigorous testing and validation process to ensure the safety of these systems. Computers have been in use by the healthcare industry for years. One of the most cited medical software engineering disasters... ... middle of paper ... ...t of healthcare for good reason. EHR systems can and will transform healthcare as we know it due to the advantages they provide to not only patients, but to caregivers, physicians, and insurance providers. EHR’s also have the potential to cause great harm, such as not being tested properly, not being used properly, as well as being manually overridden by caregivers. History has proven that technology can impact even cause death if not tested and used properly when in a healthcare setting. EHR systems are essentially medical devices because they are used in the treatment of patients and dosing of medications to patients. EHRs can have a serious impact on the health of human beings therefore should be subjected to the same rigorous testing that any other medical device is subjected to in accordance with FDA guidelines, to ensure the greatest safety to patients.
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