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Electronic Medical Records for (HIPAA) Compliance

17 January 2009 44,658 views 62 Comments

 

Technology promises many important advances in the way the medical industry maintains health records. By introducing new technology and electronic medical records, health-care professionals can prevent medical mistakes, and provide more cost effective record management. Technology improves efficiency and productivity while leading to better health care value. The health care industry has long been at the forefront of technological innovation and this is particularly evidenced by the growth in electronic patient medical records.

There are two types of computerized medical records. The first type of computer medical records are digital images from scanned paper-based medical records in TIFF or PDF formats. The second type is paperless electronic medical record (EMR).

The EMR is the legal record of what happened to the patient during the clinical patient encounter. Included in this information are patient meta data, progress notes, prescriptions, electrocardiogram (EKG) tests, medical history, immunizations, lab results and radiology reports.

The electronic medical record (EMR) is essential for the efficient storage, distribution, and retrieval of patient records in hospitals. An important benefit of EHR is improved workflow as document management software contain built in workflow modules. Workflow modules include manual workflow and rule-based workflow. Manual workflow allows users to view the document and decide who to send it to. Rules-based workflow allows administrators to create rules to direct the flow of the health care through the facility. For instance, approval workflow routes a medical record or data to a group of people for approval.

Hospitals and health care providers still require the old paper-based medical records after the introduction of an EMR software in a hospital. The solution is to scan in existing medical records and charts using OCR can create PDF files that are searchable. Searching is also done by reading the contents, aided by naming conventions of the PDF file name. These searchable files can be stored on secured servers that can be accessed only by those with the proper credentials. This technology is a win for doctors and patients alike.

This new way data management of patient medical records addresses compliance issues with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as the HIPAA. This act requires that hospitals and health care providers maintain detailed patient medical records so that health records are accessible and portable.

When information is stored on a computer connected to a network, there are naturally concerns expressed about the security of the patient medical records. Because of these concerns, the HIPAA mandates that precautions must be taken to ensure the security and confidentiality of any medical records stored on the server. This is accomplished by securing both the server and the network from unauthorized individuals.

The HIPAA also requires that health care providers and hospitals must maintain proper records concerning who has access to the medical records as well as information on those who access the records. This helps maintain the confidential nature of patient medical records.

The end result of scanning in the patient medicals, storing them on a secure server, and then tracking access to the records is that patients are able to receive better, more accurate health care while doctors are able to have much more information about the patient’s condition available to him. Everyone in the health care system can benefit from this increased efficiency.

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62 Comments »

  • Thomas Stevens said:

    Good article. I focus more on the paperwork side of it, but it was a good article. I think everyone agrees that the future of information lies online and not on a tree. What is your take on Google getting into storing patients' records? How do you recommend the health care businesses get rid of the paperwork after they scan it through shredding? I found one more resource that talks about HIPAA, along with other such privacy laws,

    http://www.fellowes.com/Fellowes/site/workspace/w

  • admin (author) said:

    Google Health allows patients to upload such information as medical records, prescriptions, and medical history and share that information with their healthcare providers. Storing the electronic data in one place can help health professionals eliminate medical errors and coordinate care between providers.

    Medical records for which retention is no longer required should be shredded or otherwise destroyed in accordance with HIPAA guidelines. It is the
    responsibility of covered entities to understand the laws as they apply to proper disposal.

  • Tania said:

    Greatings,
    I have already seen it somethere

    Have a nice day
    Tania

  • Zoran said:

    Hi,
    Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.

    Thank you
    Zoran

  • Kim Diamond said:

    I think its great idea, too many practices dont manage information effectively and lose paper files. We have started implementing technology in our practice for some time now and its making a huge difference. We use range of medical scanning products from a company called CSSN.

  • Dickies Scrubs said:

    Has read with the pleasure, very interesting post, write still, good luck to you!Cheers

  • Portable Medical Records Solution. | 7Wins.eu said:

    […] Prediction: Mobile Solutions Will Impact Healthcare | Healthy Conversations What will you do when your personal health records get destroyed?Clinical ORthopaedic Exam App (CORE): Portable Physical Diagnosis on the iPhone [App Review] | iMedicalApps Electronic Medical Records for (HIPAA) Compliance | Document Scanning Blog […]

  • vessel sinks said:

    I think its great idea, too many practices dont manage information effectively and lose paper files so proper electronics equipment for data management should be there.

  • buy research papers said:

    I like this stuff!

  • EMR Implementation said:

    HIPAA compliance is mandatory for any covered entity.

    Thanks for the info and article.

  • pain management emr said:

    I’ve been looking for topics as interesting as this.Thanks for such a great blog to share with.I read your blog and found it very informative..Keep on posting!

  • Physical Therapy said:

    Technology in health care industry is a real boon for everyone out there. Data accessed is very easy compared to paper data.

  • Marcus Whitman - Medical Records Scanning Professional said:

    Great overview on the benefits of scanned medical records

  • Praveen said:

    Good Article. We are purpose to impliment the same. Sir, please inform me the EMR sytem require any authontication from approved authorities(India).

    praveen

  • nile cruises said:

    The EMR is the legal record of what happened to the patient during the clinical patient encounter and electrocardiogram (EKG) tests, medical history, immunizations, lab results and radiology reports.

  • italy rental said:

    This act requires that hospitals and health care providers maintain detailed patient medical records so that health records are accessible and portable while there is some disadvantage of data manipulation.

  • Exercise equipment said:

    Nice to read about medical recorder for health. Yes its more useful then professionals because he can prevent mistake but medical recorded doesn’t that.

  • Cross Trainer said:

    Google Health provides such information as medical records, prescriptions, and medical history and share it for all. I think this is the best way to records medical reports. And after read your blog i thank full to you for provide such this types of information.

  • Alex@pdf said:

    The above article is very much helpfull in understanding things in better way.

    Thanks

    Alex

  • EMR Medical said:

    great read. Thanks for sharing this informative article.

  • term paper said:

    This compliance seems quite useful. I hope it will have good results and help people to recover faster.

  • health insurance quotes said:

    I wrote extensively about pmr’s and google’s eventual soon to be dominance of the field. They have every conceivable advantage for this business but for some reason the business is not catching on.
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  • cecil grass said:

    I am very glad that emr systems are gaining popularity. I’m using the emr system
    and I can say that they are an invaluable asset in today’s health care system. The free demo offered will convince doubters of the value of the system.

  • Medical Billing Florida said:

    Technically, this should make things a lot easier.

  • earth4energy reviews said:

    Searching is also done by reading the contents, aided by naming conventions of the PDF file name.These searchable files can be stored on secured servers that can be accessed only by those with the proper credentials while there are better option available in the blog to share.

  • natural acne treatment said:

    The EMR is the legal record of the patient during the clinical patient encounter.Included in this information are patient meta data,progress notes,prescriptions, electrocardiogram (EKG) tests to be done in the blog.

  • Pain management New York said:

    Hello, please let me know this require any permission or not. thank you for sharing this.

  • Team building said:

    The electronic medical record is essential for the efficient storage,distribution and retrieval of patient records in hospitals.An important benefit of EHR is improved workflow as document management software contain built in workflow modules which is best to share in the blog.

  • health quotes said:

    i really don’t trust it anyone can steal those records and htat has been shown many times in 2009 with the stealing of computers

  • Desert River said:

    The amount of time saved and money saved by EMRs will allow doctors and other medical staff to allocate their resources towards what’s really important- patient care.
    The same basic truth holds true for any industry. For example, the costs associated with legal assistance are propelled, in large, due to the amount of time and energy required to research client data and case history. By consolidating information attorneys and paralegals would free up a tremendous amount of time, and be able to redirect their resources toward more pertinent matters.
    You can read more about this at

  • Document Scanning software said:

    Yes true article, we have been helping a lot of medical companies in the UK to scan their documents too. Hopefully more offices will be heading in the paperless direction. Quite a few are looking to install EDMS’s now too! Healthcare records shouls always be managed efficiently as possible.

  • Marriage Counseling New Jersey  said:

    This new way data management of patient medical records addresses compliance issues with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act commonly referred to as the HIPAA which is best to share out in the blog also there are better option to be taken care of.

  • Dutchmen rvs said:

    This is good use of technology in hospital.Your articles are very interesting to read.I get new knowledge in every article.

  • dentist in london said:

    Fine information, many thanks to the author. It is puzzling to me now, but in general, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Very much thanks again and best of luck!

  • Free Product Samples said:

    Great but what is the backup situation?
    Sometimes we lost the data or the servers got broken or something else so what will happen to the records? do we have any back up for them?

  • VPS said:

    The electronic medical record is essential for the efficient storage,distribution and retrieval of patient records in hospitals.An important benefit of EHR is improved workflow as document management software contain built in workflow modules which is best to share in the blog.

  • Contractors Brooklyn said:

    Manual workflow allows users to view the document and decide who to send it to.Rules-based workflow allows administrators to create rules to direct the flow of the health care through the facility which is best to share out in the blog.

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  • Alex Jones said:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that:
    Thanks so much!
    Regards,
    Medical Record Retrieval
    Alex Jones recently posted..Looking Beyond The Conventional Benefits Of Outsourcing

  • Nabeel said:

    Great post. Also Google and Patient Records is def something to think about.

    On the other Note I would like to share this:

    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released statistics on last Thursday which showed that 81% of the nation’s hospitals and 41% of office-based physicians intend to register for federal incentive payments for adoption & meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology.David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health IT, in keeping true to staying abreast of technology posted a YouTube speech in which he laid out the work that was being done by the ONC & the promising statistics for Health IT Implementation.

    Visit http://www.NortecEHR.com to learn more on Meaningful Use and Government Incentives avail.

  • Maggie said:

    Yes the benefits are huge however the security issues are huge too…. imagine medication manufacturers getting access to files – they could do huge direct marketing which is a bit scary.

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    Hi, I must say that you have made some good points in the post. I performed searches on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Course-Works.com said:

    As it seems to me, in the period before the enactment of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Acts, medical centers and medical practices were charged with getting “into compliance”.

  • Hospital Scrubs Cheap said:

    You have very good information posted here, excellent research. Hopefully with new technology doctors can prevent medical mistakes and help to identify (on time) some rare diseases.

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    I would like to know how secure the records are in system like this?

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    I think its great idea, too many practices don’t manage information effectively and lose paper files. Thanks for the info and article.

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    it is just so critical that medical records / data be correctly and securely stored.

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    Great article. Of course this scanning could make life easier for all of us. Imagine the paper being produced and wasted every day in the medical industry. And heck in the whole world. More electronic readers need to be made and put to work.
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  • Life Insurance Companies said:

    What is the point of having two different types of medical records, why cant they just keep them all in one format..

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    When information is stored on a computer connected to a network,there are naturally concerns expressed about the security of the patient medical records which is kept secret and also stored properly.

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    For reducing the error in medical service there surely be a record of previous details. It helps to reduce the error of the previous something. There should be a strong database to make it error free.

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