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Keywords

electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records (EHRs), HITECH Act, health care challenges, hospitals

 

Authors

  1. Agno, Christina Farala BA
  2. Guo, Kristina L. MPH, PhD

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to discuss specific challenges faced by hospitals adopting the use of electronic medical records and implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems. Challenges include user and information technology support; ease of technical use and software interface capabilities; compliance; and financial, legal, workforce training, and development issues. Electronic health records are essential to preventing medical errors, increasing consumer trust and use of the health system, and improving quality and overall efficiency. Government efforts are focused on ways to accelerate the adoption and use of EHRs as a means of facilitating data sharing, protecting health information privacy and security, quickly identifying emerging public health threats, and reducing medical errors and health care costs and increasing quality of care. This article will discuss physician and nonphysician staff training before, during, and after implementation; the effective use of EHR systems' technical features; the selection of a capable and secure EHR system; and the development of collaborative system implementation. Strategies that are necessary to help health care providers achieve successful implementation of EHR systems will be addressed.