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Electronic Medical Records Part I

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 134

Electronic medical records are currently the new trend that most physicians are heading towards. This practice has been a way for physicians to improve the care of patients, reducing costs and to avoid medical mistakes. On the other hand this new technology may come with some legal risks.

There are many benefits to using a system of electronic medical records which include being able to read the record without having to worry about sloppy handwriting, immediate access to the records, built-in safety features and also it would reduce the risk of a physician prescribing a medication that the patient is allergic to.

However EMR's may create some problems. Some physicians could be sloppy typists and the fact that some physicians will most likely take home the laptop and that poses a problem with the patients confidentiality which could result in a HIPAA violation. So with this in mind it's good that physicians or any other healthcare worker that has access to patient records pay attention to the risks that are important to consider.

Here of 5 of the 10 ways to reduce legal risks.

1. Implement personal and practice policies regarding electronic order entry

Be careful when reading messages from the system. If there is a multitude of emails being sent often, unsubscribe these unnecessary emails.

2. Develop a system and policies of what to do when an order occurs when the physician is not at his or her workstation or if the system is temporarily down

There must be in place a system of how to handle this situation if it happens. For a period of time, physicians may have to go back to pen and paper to record important information for the patients record and later enter that information into the electronic medical record.

3. Print out progress notes from time to time and evaluate the accuracy of the record

These records should then be evaluated to see if they are easy to follow and read. They should also be evaluated to see if the record accurately show what the physician did for the patient.

4. Back-up the records. Make sure to check the back-up method frequently.

It's important to make sure the files are backed up everyday. If a physician fails to do this, they could possibly lose patient records and have no other way of showing what the physician has done for the patient and also no documentation in the event the physician is sued.

5. Install virus protection software on server and workstation computers

This is extremely important to install on the computers that are being used for electronic medical record technology in order to avoid a virus infiltrating your system which could be very damaging.

Marina Hall is a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) and founder of MariAnn Medical Billing Service. To read a full "Interview with Marina Hall" visit her website at http://www.inscoding.com/aboutus.php

You can also read about the great value MariAnn Medical Billing Service is delivering at http://www.inscoding.com/testimonials.php

Source: EzineArticles
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