Developing Universal Electronic Medical Records

(Sninsky Charles A August 13, 2021

The idea of healthcare reform has been part of our national agenda for years, and members of both the legislative and medical communities, along with the general public, agree wholeheartedly that it needs to be addressed. One component of the overinflated burden of healthcare cost comes from antiquated administrative systems that do not allow for efficient and functional record keeping, to the detriment of both individual patient care and overall systems for health management. One of the multiple agendas of the healthcare reform movement is the development of a universal system of electronic medical records (EMR) that would allow access to patient information at every potential venue of care while still providing privacy, security, and autonomy of patient information.

It seems to be universally agreed that a technologically up-to-date system with access and participation mandated throughout the nation would represent a huge step forward in healthcare reform. It was with this in mind that President Bush created the position of National Health Information Technology Coordinator three years ago. However, there are several stumbling blocks that repeatedly hinder these efforts and that must be addressed. Ultimately, one must consider the basic elements of a successful, robust, universal EMR. Those elements include control, funding, security, accessibility, portability, compatibility, integration from multiple sources, and home-data procurement with medical oversight to maintain the system’s integrity. Unfortunately, most corporations are far from altruistic and they are looking at ways to expand revenue sources from patients who are, from the corporation’s view, consumers. The potential is endless, but care must be used to avoid a multitude of pitfalls.