This article published in the Wall Street Journal in late August concerns the maintenance of records in hospitals, and the success and feasibility of encouraging electronic medical records systems for hospitals. According to the article, while only 11.9% of U.S. hospitals had a basic EMR system, only 2% had done enough to qualify for government funding or had achieved ‘Meaningful Use’.
This article was chosen, because this summer I worked in a hospital that had a computerized system for orders, admissions, etc. But patients’ charts were actual 4 or 5-inch plastic folders. And after each patient was discharged, the contents of the chart were sent to ‘Medical Records’. I didn’t think it was a bad system, until my 2nd hour working, when a doctor, a nurse and a case manager all needed the same chart at the same time, and the chart turned out to be missing, hidden somewhere on the tables and doctors’ areas.
However, this article also goes on to show that an EMR system could also cause extra problems for hospitals if it is poorly integrated. However, from my experience with physical charts, I believe that an EMR system would be a lot better.
You can read the article in entirety at: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/08/27/only-2-of-hospitals-could-have-met-meaningful-use-in-2009/
Please leave comments below on your thoughts on the article, etc.