Key goals and realization of EMR implementation

1 05 2010

The purpose behind moving to electronic medical recordkeeping is “to create an interoperable national system for the secure exchange of healthcare information”, explains Dr. Bill Crounse (Crounse).  When former President George W. Bush announced in his January 2004 State of the Union speech his goal for the United States to be utilizing electronic medical records by 2014, he stated that “by computerizing health records, we can avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs, and improve care.” (Bush)  Aaron Dunkel, the deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Health expounded on this, saying the primary goal of making records electronic was to improve the efficiency and quality of providers by enabling the sharing of a patient’s files within their care team (Biles).  Though each supporter has their own idea of which goal is the most significant, all seem to agree that all aspects of the improvement of effective and necessary communication regarding a patient’s care can be achieved through electronic medical record keeping.

The purchasing of software system(s) to house the records and cost is a significant obstacle in making this first step (Swanson et al, 607).  Noting this issue as being a larger stumbling block for smaller practices, Representative Kathleen Dahlkemper introduced a bill that would loan small businesses the monies to acquire and install technological related hardware and software, with a cap of $350,000 (  This bill has not yet been passed into law; however, it has passed through the House.  The technological requirements can include workstations, computer equipment and data servers, as well as technical support and the software package itself (Lenhart et al, 112).  As an added incentive, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocated funds which would reward businesses with bonus packages of up to $18,000 once they have their electronic record keeping implemented (Blumenthal).

In addition to the financial aspects, there is the need to educate personnel.  This education step must include not only instructional training on how to utilize the software, but also education designed to change the perception held by many about EMRs.  Without a positive attitude regarding the significance and utility of this process, medical staff will be less likely to embrace the changes (McLane).  Dr. Matt Murray suggests that with a committed attitude and outlook when discussing EMR roll out plans, the “staff will mimic your attitude to an EMR” (Murray).  This should begin with an open discussion about each staff member’s role in the new system, what is expected, what will change, and to encourage discussions about concerns and issues (McLane).

Even though some medical institutions have begun to take the steps towards making these changes, many more have not.  In fact, studies report that less than 10% of US hospitals have implemented at least a basic electronic record management system and less than 20% of US physician’s offices have implemented at least a basic system (Geisler et al).  “One of the amazing discrepancies in American society today is we’re literally changing how medicine is delivered in incredibly positive ways, and yet docs are still spending a lot of time writing things on paper — and sometimes it’s hard to read their handwriting,” said Bush (Benedetto).

Work Cited

Benedetto, Richard. “Bush Advocates Electronic Medical Record-keeping.” USA Today 27 May 2004, Politics sec. USA Today. 2008. Mon. 26 Apr. 2010. <;.

Biles, Jan. “E-medical Records Goal of Panel.” Topeka Capital-Journal 21 Feb. 2010. Topeka Independent Living Resource Center. 2010. Tue. 27 Apr. 2010. <;.

Blumenthal, David. “Stimulating the Adoption of Health Information Technology.” The New England Journal of Medicine 360.15 (2009): 1477-479. The New England Journal of Medicine: Research & Review Articles on Diseases & Clinical Practice. The New England Journal of Medicine, 25 Mar. 2009. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <;.

Bush, George W. “State of the Union Address.” Address. State of the Union Address. Washington, D. C. 20 Jan. 2004. 20 Jan. 2004. Mon. 26 Apr. 2010. <;.

Crounse, Bill. “Electronic Medical Records Improve Patient Care.” Microsoft Corporation. 22 Nov. 2005. Tue. 27 Apr. 2010. <;.

Geisler, Benjamin P., Jeremiah D. Schuur, and Daniel J. Pallin. “Estimates of Electronic Medical Records in U.S. Emergency Departments.” PLoS ONE : Accelerating the Publication of Peer-reviewed Science. Ed. Joseph S. Ross. Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 17 Feb. 2010. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <;.

“H.R. 3014–111th Congress: Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Act.” (database of federal legislation). 2009. Wed. April 28, 2010 <;

Lenhart, James G., Karen Honess, Deborah Covington, and Kevin E. Johnson. “An Analysis of Trends, Perceptions, and Use Patternsof Electronic Medical Records Among USFamily Practice Residency Programs.” Medical Informatics 32.2 (1998). New Hanover RegionalMedical Center Foundation Residency Research Fund. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <;.

McLane, Sharon. “Designing an EMR Planning Process – Opinions on Computers: Importance of Staff Acceptance.” Medscape. University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2005. Fri. 30 Apr. 2010. <;.

Murray, Matt. “Selecting an EMR: Effective Communication.” Digitized Medicine. 13 Aug. 2009. Sat. 1 May 2010. <;.

Swanson, Todd, Julie Dostal, Brad Eichhorst, Clarence Jernigan, Mark Knox, and Kevin Roper. “Recent Implementations of Electronic Medical Records in Four Family Practice Residency Programs.” Academic Medicine 72.7 (1997): 607-12. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. The Association of American Medical Colleges. Tue. 27 Apr. 2010. <;.




47 responses

1 05 2010
Patient Survey Tools

Good post, we BTW use for keeping a tab on patient feedback. Works out well. Makes the staff also think twice about how they treat patients. Also, this is helping out to let go staff who are not doing a great job. What better way to document something than something that is provided to you by patients themselves. Plus, all staff wears a name tag just to make sure they know patients can see who the person is.

Also, doctors are now reviewing these every month as well. They get positive and negative feedback about how patients feel about their treatment at the hospital.

In the end only thing that matters is the patient care and preventative medicine.

Keep up the good work. Great content!!!


1 05 2010

I know with some of my relatives’ experiences at medical facilities in the past, we’ve felt stifled when we approach administrative personnel regarding concerns we have about the treatment by staff. Often, as a patient, you already feel a lack of control and a degree of humiliation from the lack of privacy – couple that with disrespect or even slighted comments, what a dreadful experience.
I think that is great to know that patients have a voice at your facility and you are absolutely right – the care of the patient should be the top priority.
Thank you.

3 05 2010

I’m active duty Army and our dog tags now have a computer chip that has all of our info on it in case we’re hurt out in the field god forbid. Ive never worried about someone trying to find out my info accidently or on purpose. The greater good is worth it.

20 05 2010

I agree with you entirely Dave and thank you for your service to our country! How cool that is to have the chip embedded in your tags!

10 05 2010

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16 05 2010

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20 05 2010

Thank you Christian.

18 05 2010

I like the way your mind thinks

20 05 2010

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22 05 2010

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I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

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27 05 2010

Thanks for making such a valuable blog, sincerely Kobos Mathers.

28 05 2010
Quentin Vigil

If only more than 61 people would read this..

30 05 2010

Do you have a character limit on the assignments because it seems like just when you start to get into the topic you sum it up lol

8 06 2010

Great tips! I will try it definitely
thanks for sharing this!

28 06 2010

What online zines do you read and would recommend?

Looking forward to your recommendations.


14 07 2010

I don’t really have any set ones I read, I tend to look at news from various sources and then read and further research those that pique my interests!

11 07 2010

It looks a lot easier and ismpler on paper than it is to get electric records realized.

14 07 2010

I imagine it will be LoL I think everything looks better on paper than it does in action though!

9 08 2010

Anything similar.

19 08 2010

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22 08 2010

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2 09 2010

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17 09 2010

Thank you Fehl

7 09 2010

Very Interesting!
Thank You

16 09 2010

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like this in the past? Keep up the great work!

17 09 2010

Thank you.

24 09 2010

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I am new to this forum, so let me introduce myself.
My name is Michael, I have two cats and I am currently 25 years old. I am currently on my way to becoming a dentist, and soon-to be a great parent of three kids! My current goal is to eventually become a cosmetic dentist to perfect everyone’s smiles.
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26 09 2010

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31 10 2010

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3 11 2010

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16 11 2010

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6 11 2010

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16 11 2010

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6 11 2010

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16 11 2010

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9 11 2010

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9 11 2010

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10 11 2010

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15 11 2010
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1 01 2011

For the exelent info

I’ll be back for sure.

Thanks again!

10 01 2011

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11 01 2011

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12 01 2011

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18 01 2011

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7 02 2011

There is no use crying over spilled milk.

23 06 2011

I was reading a different article and tsumbled on this one but our area has a computer system and it works nice. I dont have to bring my husbands records each time we go to a different specialist or hospital. Its all there.

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