Electronic health record can make a patient's health information when and where it's needed and it's not locked away in your office. So in the event of emergency, they can go to their nearest emergency room and their medical records from their physician would be available to the emergency room. Read this expert guidance on the related healthcare guidelines conducted by our expert in a healthcare event.
So it's making that information available, making patients take more ownership of their care because it's allowing them to participate better with their care, support better follow-up for patients, instruction, information that they can easily be provided; reminders and follow-up care that can be easily sent to patients.
And of course, it can improve patient care and provider convenience. Patients can have their prescriptions ordered and send to the pharmacy and ready to be picked up before they even, you know, leave the provider's office. Insurance claims can be filed immediately.
Our expert mentioned in an EHR health system conference that EHR's don't just contain or transmit information. They compute with it. For example, a qualified EHR will not merely hold a record of the patient's medications and allergies but it would actually do a check to see if there's an issue with a particular medication or a patient allergy.
And any time a new medication is prescribed, it will provide an alert to the person that's entering that data for potential conflict.
So EHRs can resolve a lot of the issues that we had going on in the health care industry today. Patients can take better ownership of their care. Doctors can easily communicate with other doctors and providers. And they can better track what's going on with the patient. So that's why the industry is moving toward electronic health record for healthcare compliance.
Now, why meaningful use? Why do we have to have meaningful use in order to make these all work? Well, EHRs don't achieve their optimum results simply by sharing information or transferring information from paper form to digital form. They can only deliver the benefits when the information is standardized and structured.
You know, a few years ago, we went through a change in the industry so that everybody would receive claim information in the same format. Well, it's kind of a similar situation where we're trying to structure and standardize all of the medical records information in a uniform way.
And EHRs can't really achieve this full potential if provide don't use the functions that deliver the most benefit. For example, exchanging information.
Our expert clarified in an audio conference that if we're simply using an EHR because it's better for our office but we're not really exchanging information with any one, that's not accomplishing part of the intended goal. Or if we're not entering orders through the computer, we're not saving time and human error by getting the orders in correctly so that decision support functions and other automated processes are activated.
So we have to have some kind of standard in order to make better use of the technology. So it requires that providers meet specified objectives in the use of the EHR and that is in order to qualify for incentive payment.
Now, ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, actually had the part of ARRA that deals with the health care provides the incentive payment to eligible professionals which began in 2011.
Now, the enforcement agency for electronic health records is the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology or ONC and they were responsible for creating the process to certify the EHR technology and that's been a temporary process.
And they're also responsible for identifying the standards for certifications, identifying meaningful use objectives that providers have to meet in order to qualify for the incentive payment as per the healthcare rules. So remember, they are the ones that are creating the standards so that everyone in the industry is using the same standards to achieve the end result that ARRA called for.
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