Confidentiality of Information versus Benefits of Electronic Medical Records

Subject: Health Care
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 1
Word count: 331
Topics: Medical Ethics, Health Insurance

The issue of patient information privacy remains a major hindrance in the rampant incorporation of the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) in the United States of America. It is clear that the US could gain very crucial healthcare savings it were to attain extensive acceptance of the EMRs. However, the inadequate privacy safeguards pose barriers to public acceptance of the EMR idea (North Carolina State University, 2010).  Use of the EMRs gives room for the healthcare system to conduct its activities in a more effective way and reduce the duplicative testing. The use of the EMRs could reduce the costs if each individual adopted its use right from the healthcare providers to pharmacies so as the insurance firms. 

However, the lack of public goodwill in relation to the privacy issues elucidated by the EMRs has been an obstacle its development. A number of people believe the use of EMRs facilitates identity theft (Noor et al, 2012). In as much as the adoption of the Electronic Medical Record systems presents multiple advantages including but not limited to better healthcare and reduced healthcare expenses, grave unexpected effects from the incorporation of the EMR systems have arisen. Inadequate EMR system design so as inappropriate use can lead to EMR-related mistakes that threaten the integrity of the data in the EMR thus causing errors that compromise the patient safety or reduce the quality of care. 

All the obstacles facing EMRs notwithstanding, a greater number of healthcare practitioners in the US are aware that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act obliges the healthcare institutions to adopt the use of EHR and that penalties accrue for non-compliance. The same coincides with the stipulations in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that mandates the healthcare institutions to safeguard the interests of the patients (Sun, 2011). Therefore, healthcare professionals have no alternative but to embrace the digitalization of health records. 

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  1. Noor, S., Mahmood, S., Khan, K. (2012). Reluctance of US Doctors in Adopting EHR Technology. Global Journal of Management and Business Research Volume 12. Issue 23. Pp. 18 –22
  2. North Carolina State University. (2010, September 27). Privacy key obstacle to adopting electronic health records, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 21, 2017 from
  3. Sun, J., Zhu, X., Zhang, C, Fang, Y. (2011). HCPP: Cryptography Based Secure EHR 
  4. System for Patient Privacy and Emergency Healthcare. IEEE 31st International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), Minneapolis, MN, pp373 –382
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