Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are used by medical organizations to store patient information, schedule appointments, and communicate with patients online. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, for instance, uses a single integrated EHR system Epic. The difference between the two systems is in EHRs share the information of the patient with all the clinicians involved in the treatment of the patient. EHRs can also be used for medical decision-making, analytics, research, and communication between physicians. EHR system can be called an adopted version of EMR providing more flexibility.
Observing patients’ safety in using these systems, it is essential to say that passwords and PINs are limiting access to the information to authorized individuals. Aldosari (2017) suggests that all the critical patient information should be entered accurately in a structured form to minimize the chance of a medical error and maximize patient safety. It is also hard to compare EMR and EHR systems with paper charts in terms of security as the last ones can be easily accessed by personnel of the hospital. These electronic systems work in the patient’s interest by gathering and synthesizing the information.
However, if electronic systems are not used properly, some potential complications may occur. As electronic items, EHRs and EMRs need some time to convert from one charting system to another. According to Palabindala et al. (2016), there is no guarantee of data integrity during the transition phase. However, good planning of the realization of these processes can help to avoid these shortcomings. The physician also takes responsibility for the working process in the system. Without proper training in making electronic charts, the possibility of making a medical error rises. Hospital leadership should provide constant training to the personnel in order to support the skills of the physicians on a decent level and prevent their mistakes.
Aldosari, B. (2017). Patients’ safety in the era of EMR/HER automation. Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, 9, 230-233. Web.
Palabindala, V., Pamarthy, A., & Jonnalagadda, N. R. (2016). Adoption of electronic health records and barriers. Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, 6(5), 32643.