21st Century Technology Used in Hospitals: An Assessment of Electronic Health Records
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is three-fold. The first purpose is to establish a practical ideal model of Electronic Health Records (E.H.Rs) used in hospitals by reviewing relevant scholarly literature. The second purpose is to assess the extent Central Texas Medical Center (C.T.M.C) in San Marcos, Texas adheres to the elements of the ideal model. The final purpose is to provide recommendations for improving the current E.H.R system used at C.T.M.C. A thorough review of the literature identified eight key components of Electronic Health Records based on the Institute of Medicine Report, Key Capabilities of an Electronic Health Record, 2003. The components include: Health Information and Data, Results Management, Order Entry/Management, Decision Support, Electronic Communication and Connectivity, Patient Support, Administrative Processes, and Reporting and Population Health Management. Methodology: The components of an Electronic Health Record identified in the literature led to the development of the conceptual framework. The conceptual framework was the assessment tool used to gauge the Electronic Health Record (E.H.R) system used at Central Texas Medical Center (C.T.M.C). The methodology used to collect data and make assessments was structured interviews and direct observation. Findings: Structured interviews and direct observation revealed the E.H.R system used at C.T.M.C met all or the majority of components for Health Information and Data, Results Management, Order/Entry Management, and Patient Support. Components that were missing included reminders for preventive services for patients, epidemiologic data and automated real time surveillance in Decision Support, patient to provider communication and medical record integration across settings in Electronic Communication and Connectivity, clinical trial, drug recall and chronic disease management in eligibility determination in Administrative Processes, and public health reporting and disease registries in Reporting and Population Management.