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What are the concerns of practitioners and patients on Electronic Medical Records?

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International Baccalaureate Information Technology in a Global Society Portfolio http://www.technewsworld.com/images/rw571641/medical-records.jpg What are the concerns of practitioners and patients on Electronic Medical Records? (Health) November, 2009 Tran Thai Bao Khanh The British International School Vietnam News Item: Technology News, 2009, Building a Better Health Data Network http://www.technewsworld.com/story/science/68285.html [April, 2009] A. Presentation of the issue In the United States of America, many medical centers have begun to have electronic records for the patients. The almost immediate access gives the doctors the advantage in saving time and the undoubtedly understanding of the patients' medical histories. According to Dr. James E. Sanders from the article "Building a Better Health Data Network" I just read recently on TechNewsWorld, the electronic medical records system helps him to flawlessly treat any patients who from different regions in different states, however, when the patients are not in the system, hours, or even days, are spent on searching for crucial information. Medical practitioners all around the country are encouraged to have the EMR (Electronic Medical Records) systems installed as they help save a huge amount of time, decrease errors yet reduce the cost. ...read more.


The picture below is an example. The form is displayed on the screen; this is the very first step when the technicians or nurses follow the format using the keyboard to type in the patient's information. For further identity and recognition, a webcam is used to take picture of the patient's face. The information is then saved into the system, for later examination, practitioners can search for the patients' names alphabetically. (http://ambas.net/Screenshots.aspx) Additionally, for hospitals or large group practice, a link for the network is required so that all the computers can access to the EMR. Therefore, XML - a set of codes that can format the documents electronically, is used to integrate between networks of the patients' record on the internet. Moreover, DICOM (the picture below is an example of how the whole medical system works)- Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicines, which is a basic program in the EMR system, includes a file format definition and a network communications protocol being responsible for transmitting medical information and images. A DICOM file can be interchanged between the two systems that are able to receive the medical data in DICOM format. ...read more.


Patients have been concerned about their personal data being read, stolen, changed, etc. by hackers or any strangers who intend to do something appalling to the patients, the negative consequences like are inevitable. There is also the confidential issue of the patients who are afraid of listing out their sensitive symptoms for the public to see, causing the doctors and patients' work uncompromised. (Computerworld Security, 2009) D. A Solution to a problem arising from the issue Many patients are worried about the security of the data and privacy of their information. To answer this question, there have been legislations restricting the access of specifics to the personal data; only doctors, nurses and billing clerks can have the access to system. However, there are certain levels of access and rules, in which only doctors can have the ultimate access to all the documents not nurses, and billing clerks can only have the access to the contact information and other personal expenses not the medical histories. Institutions and providers have made it strict for the EMR network authentication, privacy and safety requirements. Additionally, the EMR systems always have back-ups; hence, there is hardly any loss or damage of one's data. ...read more.

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