Patients' welfare is at stake in the electronic effort, experts say. - page 2

Kaiser has aches, pains going digital Patients' welfare is at stake in the electronic effort, experts say. Kaiser Permanente's $4-billion effort to computerize the medical records of its 8.6... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN

    I don't understand politicians.
    Why write privacy laws when the goal is something not mentioned in the laws? just a retorical question unless someone knows the answer.

    I just know some technology makes it more difficult by taking time away from patients.
    Some computer charting systems won't let you go to the next screen unless you check something that was not done.
    One had "Pedal pulse (R) ( ) (L) ( ). if you don't check one you cannot continue! You cannot put a (-) or (0). On nights it is hard to find a "superuser" the first time your patient has no pulse.
    Perhaps a previous amputation.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Feb 23, '07 : Reason: typo
  2. by   jjjoy
    I think the issue with HIPAA and electronic records is the greater accessibility of electronic records. Without electronic records, a nurse on the oncology unit only has access to the medical records of the patients on that floor. With an electronic record, that nurse can theoretically pull up info about anyone currently in the hospital. Expand that to electronic records shared between providers - labs, doctor's offices, hospitals, etc. Health personnel in doctor's office A might have access to just about anyone else's medical record by sitting down at the computer and typing in a name and DOB. Thus, shared electronic records were the impetus for increased privacy laws.

    It's not like providers were broadcasing patient secrets prior to HIPAA. Patient records have always been considered confidential, have they not? So why the new law? To make sure that with access to electronic records, that providers weren't downloading patient information without that patient's consent. That's the way I see it. However, in practice, HIPAA's been interpretted quite differently!

    I haven't read HIPAA in detail so I'm mostly speculating... I should get the facts, shouldn't I?
  3. by   charebec65
    Electronic records can be a good thing. However, they can also create problems. For instance, remember when the government worker took his work computer home and it was stolen? That computer contained personal information including ssn's of many veterans, including my husbands.

    Also, about a month ago I got a letter from the Ohio Board of Nursing. My ssn and personal information, among the same info. about many other new nurses here, were inadvertantly released to a party that had no right to it.
    Last edit by charebec65 on Feb 23, '07 : Reason: fixed a typo
  4. by   rngreenhorn
    My hospital is in the process of going electronic, and boy what a MESS! They have peiced together several different programs that are so user-UNfreindly, it is nearly impossible to get information.

    However, I can see a huge advantage to having an electronic system containing important pt info that is easy to use and keeps the info safe. Wouldn't it be nice to log in, bring up a pt name, click "history" and bring up the all the pertinent info during the admit process.

    As far as computer charting, it would save so much time to have the data needed at the click of a mouse. THink about the benefit of actually being able to read a physician progress note or order. How about being able to send all the orders to the correct departments instantly when taking off the orders. Wouldn't it be great to just click a button and tranfer all the needed info to a new chart when the pt is changing units or hospitals etc. This would be great for the frequent flyers. Each time the pt is discharged we back up the info, and just bring it back up when he returns.

    Our current admit packet (of paperwork) contains piles of paper, most of which are there only there to satisfy some JCAHO recommendation that no one ever reads. It takes a good 45 minutes to complete the forms, add starting IV, administering orders, getting the pt settled etc and it takes a good 1.5 hours to admit one pt (this is for a med-surg floor). Every time I have an admit I think, with all the technology avaliable, there has to be a better way.

    But, It does seem a little scary to have all that info out there in one place where a good hacker could get to it. And of course any computer program is subject to human error and mechanical error. As Keiser has noted.

    On a related note, have any of you seen the hospital scene in the movie "Idiocracy"? It's hilarious! It shows what happens if people continue to get dumber and rely to much on computers.
    Last edit by rngreenhorn on Feb 23, '07