Influence of EMR or Technology in a Healthcare Organization Case Study

Pages: 15 (4319 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Healthcare

OUUCH:

MAKING EXCELLENT HEALTH RESPONSES BETTER

CCHIT: The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (Bennett, 2009,

¶ 5).

EHR: Electronic Health Records (Amatayakul, 2009, ¶ 2).

EMR: Electronic Medical Record (Clemons, 2007, ¶ 3).

HHS: Health and Human Relations (Bennett, 2009, ¶ 5).

ACADEMIC ABSTRACT

OUUCH: Making Excellent Health Responses Better depicts a case study which examines a number of contemporary considerations relating to the influence of Electronic Health Records (EMR) in a healthcare organization. OUUCH, Orlando's Universal Urgent Care Home (fabricated walk-in clinic) began serving walk-in patients July 4, 2008. Six months later, Dr. William Stringent, the director of OUUCH, initiated the process of implementing EHR in the clinic. With EHRs, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and physicians can share patient information in real time to better deliver timely, personalized and portable care.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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Proponents of Electronic Health Records (EHR) routinely outline a number of advantages the new technology proffers. With EHRs, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and physicians can share patient information in real time to better deliver timely, personalized and portable care to locations throughout the world. OUUCH, Orlando's Universal Urgent Care Home (fabricated walk-in clinic) began serving walk-in patients July 4, 2008 and will celebrate two years of service on July 4, 2010. In January 2009, Dr. William Stringent initiated the process of implementing EHR in the clinic.

Case Study on Influence of EMR or Technology in a Healthcare Organization Assignment

Walk-in clinics are making big strides in the industry, according to Laura Jane Pittman (2008) in the article, "Walk-in clinics are making big strides in the industry ." Generally, the walk-in clinic's medical staff treats non-life threatening accidents and illnesses. OUUCH, however, as an urgent care clinic, is in some ways similar, yet also dissimilar to the typical walk-in care clinic. OUUCH not only "offers limited services for common, nonacute medical conditions such as strep throat, ear infections and pink-eye," but because it is an urgent care clinic, it also treats "emergencies such as chest pain and broken bones" (Pittman, ¶ 5). Most urgent care clinics are often staffed by physicians, however, most nonacute walk-in clinics employ nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants. As OUUCH provides services to clients 16 hours a day, seven days a week, its network of practicing physicians, primary care physician assistants and nurse practitioners (NPs) work eight-hour shifts on a rotating schedule. Whether the patient needs treatment for an emergency, life-threatening situation which requires immediate attention or a nonacute condition, members of OUUCH's staff can provide the needed treatment.

Even though OUUCH faces multiple challenges as a novice international urgent medical care provider, it offers a much-needed service, particularly to individuals who may need urgent care but may not speak English. Due to EHR and OUUCH's subscribing to an international translation service, language does not present a barrier for staff to communicate with the patient -- no matter his/her language. Whether or not the individual securing treatment at OUUCH lives in a country that has implemented EHR of not, the electronic record of the medical treatment will be available if/when the patient needs it in the future to virtually any health care provider.

INTRODUCTION

"Make no mistake, & #8230;[EHRs] are the inevitable next step forward in healthcare, shortening patient wait times and lowering operating costs for physicians through improved efficiency and reduced malpractice risk"

(Electronic Medical Records, 2010, ¶ 4).

OUUCH's Business

When one thinks of Orlando, Florida, Mickey Mouse and Disneyland typically come to mind. At times, individuals who travel from all parts of the world to experience the manufactured "magic" Mickey Mouse and the myriad of other Disney characters present, experience medical problems perhaps serious enough to merit a trip to the emergency room (ER) if one were nearby, or perhaps only uncomfortable of painful enough to mandate minimal medical care. OUUCH, Orlando's Universal Urgent Care Home, directed by Dr. William Stringent, provides the "perfect" resolution for securing timely urgent major and not so urgent minor medical attention. During the case study, "OUUCH: Making Excellent Health Responses Better," the researcher examines a number of contemporary considerations relating to the influence of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in an urgent care clinic. With EHRs, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and physicians can share patient information in real time to better deliver timely, personalized and portable care to locations throughout the world.

EHR

Healthcare professionals throughout the world are more readily dealing with two acronyms relating to health care records, electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EHR). Margret Amatayakul, RHIA, FHIMSS, (2009), author of Electronic Health Records: A Practical Guide for Professionals and Organizations, AHIMA, Chicago, Fourth Edition, reports in the journal article, "EHR vs. EHR: What's in a name?," that the institute of Medicine in 1991 and again in 2003 defined an EHR as "a patient record that resides in a system specifically designed to support users by providing accessibility to complete and accurate data, alerts, reminders, clinical decision support systems, links to medical knowledge, and other aids" (¶ 2). In 2008, the National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT) developed the following definitions for EHR and EHR:

EHR: An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one healthcare organization.

EHR: An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interopcrability standards and that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one healthcare organization. (Amatayakul, 2009, ¶ 4-5).

Amatayakul (2009) explains that the ability to exchange information interoperably depicts the primary difference between an EMR and an EHR. As the medical moves toward electronic records that adhere to national standards for inter-operability, the term, EHR, will eventually dissipate.

Currently, a number of vendors offer EHR systems to medical offices, with the smaller companies perhaps offering a system at a lower price. These systems, however, may experience problems obtaining proper certification. David Bennett (2009), a senior editor in Advanstar Communications' Centralized Content Group, explains in the journal article, the EHR "market includes small and large system vendors," that because of federal incentive programs, some medical care providers rush to install EHR systems. Bennett stresses that "choosing the right vendor and EHR system is a high-risk gamble for healthcare providers with profitability, efficiency, staff morale and even patient safety at stake" (¶ 3). In 2009, 139 vendors offered EHR systems to medical care providers, with more currently working to achieve certification. Some medical care providers require that the vendor they choose will not only install an EHR system, but also guarantee that the medical facility will receive a reimbursement for its investment in the system.

Researchers predict that EHR applications could reach as high as $1.6 billion dollars by 2013. Bennett (2009) expresses that "a growing number of small vendors, as well as technology giants such as Intel, General Electric, Microsoft and Qualcomm, are vying for the business" (¶ 4). The Health and Human Relations (HHS) contracts the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) to certify EHR vendors. By law, Medicare and Medicaid Services only receive grants if the doctors and hospitals implementing EHR purchase certified EHR systems.

OUUCH's Background

OUUCH, Orlando's Universal Urgent Care Home (fabricated walk-in clinic) began serving walk-in patients July 4, 2008 and will celebrate two years of service on July 4, 2010. In January 2009, Dr. William Stringent initiated the process of implementing EHR in the clinic. Walk-in clinics are making big strides in the industry, according to Laura Jane Pittman (2008) in the article, "Walk-in clinics are making big strides in the industry ." Generally, the walk-in clinic's medical staff treats non-life threatening accidents and illnesses. OUUCH, however, as an urgent care clinic, is in some ways similar, yet also dissimilar to the typical walk-in care clinic. OUUCH not only "offers limited services for common, nonacute medical conditions such as strep throat, ear infections and pink-eye," but because it is an urgent care clinic, it also treats "emergencies such as chest pain and broken bones" (Pittman, ¶ 5). Most urgent care clinics are often staffed by physicians, however, most nonacute walk-in clinics employ nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants. As OUUCH provides services to clients 16 hours a day, seven days a week, its network of practicing physicians, primary care physician assistants and nurse practitioners (NPs) work eight-hour shifts on a rotating schedule. Whether the patient needs treatment for an emergency, life-threatening situation which requires immediate attention or a nonacute condition, members of OUUCH's staff can provide the needed treatment.

Even though OUUCH faces multiple challenges as a novice international urgent medical care provider, it offers a much-needed service, particularly to individuals who may need urgent care but may not speak English. Due to EHR and OUUCH's subscribing to an international translation service, language does not present a barrier for staff to communicate with the patient -- no matter his/her language. Whether or not the individual securing treatment at OUUCH lives in a country that has implemented EHR of not, the electronic record of the medical treatment will be available if/when the patient needs it in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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