Case for electronic health records (part 3)

Although EHRs have the potential to enhance healthcare outcomes, various drawbacks may affect their effectiveness. For instance, the systems required for effective operations require substantial initial capital investment. Such would include the cost of physical infrastructure, training of staff for use of the systems and disruption of workflow (Busis, 2010). Other expenses would include those for supporting and maintaining the system. Additionally, EHRs lack adequate regulation and may result into malpractices occasioned by questionable agreements between suppliers and end users (Busis, 2010). Such records may also increase the risk to unauthorized access of patient information thus presenting security and confidentiality challenges (Suominen, Lehtikunnas, Back, Karsten, Salakoski & Salantera, 2007).

Impacts of adoption of EHRs may be demonstrated by a case study of small family medicine residency clinic located in Madison, Wisconsin (Carayon et al., 2009). In this case study which involved interviews with staff, benefits noted following implementation of EHRs included decreased role ambiguity of staff, enhanced job satisfaction and high-performance. EHRs were however perceived to have reduced employees control over resources and also increased their workload. The case also reinforces the need for training in ensuring the success of EHRs implementation.


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