Microeconomics is the study of consumer behavior, which entails what the consumer would buy. In healthcare this a vital aspect of improving patient health. Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR), are records that ensure patient information electronically, such as test results, check-ups, and medications. Microeconomics and EHR’s tend to stand together since EHR’s are open and it gives the patient access to their records. While EHR’s are a tool to give the patient access to their records, most medical facilities allow the patient to book appointments check their up to date vitals, if the patient must give vitals daily, and speak with their physicians on misunderstandings. This option gives the patient control over their health.
The study of microeconomics has changed the demeanor of healthcare, with rapidly improving patient care. Microeconomics is a synonym for convenient. I say that because it is the study of consumer behavior, and within the health care field, convenience is vital. Convenience is anything that makes one task easier. As previously stated EHR’s are the newest and most effective way of making the doctor and patient relationship more convenient. Now with EHR’s, there comes a risk of privacy breaching. HITECH ACT also known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.
This act anticipated the expansion in the exchange of electronic protected health information (ePHI) between doctors, hospitals, and other entities that store ePHI for the sole reason of cutting down on the cost of healthcare by sharing (Compliancy Group, 2018) The usage of EHR’S has evolved rapidly over time. With multiple tech companies such as 3M who put together the first EHR, HELP, Health Evaluation through Logical Processing. In 1968 Harvard released COSTAR, Computer Stored Ambulatory Record, it was used within the Massachusetts General Hospital. The United States government has been using EHR’s since the 1970s with its implementation of Vista which stored Veterans data. Since the government uses its resources well, it branched off and gave the public a version of their VistA and released CPRS, Computerized Patient Record System.
While many tech companies and healthcare facilities were collaborating on new EHRs there were several problems that needed to be adjusted. The cost of this technology, a common terminology that can be used throughout the healthcare industry, and lastly, security. Most of these problems will be solved with the HITECH Act that was passed by Barrack Obama in 2009. This act reformed the nature of the relationships among health care professionals, organizations, patients, and payors by focusing on the implementation and use of health information technology. It puts prominence on privacy and security, including expanded application and enforcement (Howard Burde, 2011`). Here is how HITECH has helped with the previous three problems that affected the EHR process (cost of technology, common terminology, and security).
The HITECH Act has different stages before one can officially use certified and qualified EHRs. Stage one is where common terminology comes into effect. The EHRs should be set up to where the physician can read the patient’s information. Stage two and three are intertwined with each other since both is about improvement on patient care. The second stage is disease management clinical decision support, medication management support for patient access to their health information, transitions in care, quality measurement and research, and bi-directional communication with public health agencies (Howard Burde, 2011`).
This part of the stage is focused on being able to exchange patient information just in case the patient decides to see another physician or is sent to a specialist. Stage three address improvements in quality, safety, and efficiency, focusing on decision support for national high priority conditions, patient access to self-management tools, access to comprehensive patient data, and improving population health outcomes (Howard Burde, 2011`). For security purposes, the HITECH Act protects the HIPAA Act. To summarize the HIPAA Act it gives the patient protection over their records.
In other words, it protects the patient data, so no one can have the ability to steal any information. Now with more information about the HITECH ACT and EHRs how does this technology affect the consumers, insurers, and hospital systems? The consumers are who the hospitals are targeting, so they abide by what the consumer wants, and consumers have wanted access to their health records without having to call and place an order to eventually go pick up the health record. Also, I remember this moment quite vividly, have you ever had a conversation with your doctor and after you two are done, you are lost and stuck with more questions than previously? Well, EHRs have taken care of that problem, now you can access your information from your phone and google all of the terms you may not understand. This gives the consumer more control over their health. HITECH AND EHR’s benefit the insurer, by having access to billing information, cuts down on human error.
Hospital systems have to be up to date and able to have multiple functions. The multiple functions are for the different units of the hospital such as cardio, radiology, and even the warehouse of the hospital. All information must be protected, and the warehouse information is just as important as patient information. In conclusion, HITECH/EHR’s are vital to hospitals, insurers, and lastly consumers. Throughout the paper, different topics were brought up such as the key elements, discussed how the government played a part in executing the HITECH ACT and the importance of EHR’s and how they have improved throughout time, The HITECH ACT was put into place by Barrack Obama in 2009.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) have improved drastically during their timeframe and is still improving. Electronic health records are very vital to the healthcare system since it enlightened the HIPAA act, which protects patient records. The HITECH Act was just a security measure for the HIPAA Act and to enforce the usage of Electronic Health Records. Works Cited Compliancy Group . (2018). What is the HITECH Act? Retrieved from compliancy group: https://compliancy-group.com/what-is-the-hitech-act/ Howard Burde, J. (2011`). THE HITECH ACT: An Overview. AMA Journal of Ethics, 1.
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