The History Of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

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The History of Electronic Health Records (EHR): An Electronic Health Record is defined by NEHTA Acronyms, Abbreviations & Glossary of Terms (p22, 2005) as “an electronic longitudinal collection of personal health information, usually based on the individual, entered or accepted by healthcare providers, which can be distributed over a number of sites or aggregated at a particular source. The information is organized primarily to support continuing, efficient and quality health care. The record is under control of the consumer and is stored and transmitted securely” The original way in which health records were stored was in a paper-based record system. This type of record was a combination of patient information including past medical conditions, laboratory reports, surgery reports and other patient information (Englebardt, Nelson, 2002). Paper-based health records were difficult to maintain due to the large amount of information that may need to be stored on one patient. If the patient needed to remove their health record to take it to a therapy session, diagnostic test or various other appointments, then it could no longer be accessed by any other healthcare professional. Also, if a clinician needed to remove a certain part of a patient records, then it would not be available to any other clinician to work on. Early computer-based systems were intended to replace the paper-based record, and were designed to collect, store, organize, and retrieve data related to a patients care. The goal that was set by these early systems, were to provide an increased quality of patient care, which is the same goal as todays EHR (Englebardt, Nelson, 2002). The Internet helped EHR’s become a more sophisticated way of storing a patient’s healt... ... middle of paper ... ... goals for e-Health, EHR's and PCEHR’s. They give different visions for the consumer, the provider and health care managers. For the consumer they hope to give them the capability to better manage their own health through dependable and accredited sources of health information, technology enabled access to a broader range of health services from rural and remote communities and to be able to rely on the health system to effectively organize their care and treatment activities. For the provider, they will have a complete view of consumer health information at point of care, they will be able to share information electronically in a timely and secure way, be able to transfer information to different locations and to be able to effective monitor information about patients and having the ease of interacting with patients and other professionals, no matter where they are.
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