The implementation of electronic health record systems is increasing at a rapid rate. The increases are due to the financial incentives offered by the Health Information and Technology for Economics and Clinical Health Act of 2009. Stage one of meaningful use mandates that patients be provided with an electronic copy of their health information at the end of the visit. Stage two of meaningful use requires that the patient has the ability to view their health information online, to download, and/or disseminate information about hospital admissions to their healthcare provider via a patient portal (Goldzweig, 2012).
The patient portal goal is to provide information between the patient and provider. Examples of the information exchange are upcoming appointments, medication lists, laboratory results, referral information, and other information as necessary (GCU, 2013). This paper will examine the electronic health record (EHR) patient portal implementation in a small rural Indian Health System in southern Arizona.
Currently, the EHR and the resource patient management system (RPMS), where most data’s entered, are fragmented. This fragmentation makes users have to switch between the applications in order to obtain needed information. The fragmentation creates safety issues that put the patient at risk for numerous medical errors. Examples of the risks would be the patient that comes to the Emergency Room and referred out to a larger healthcare facility. Upon discharge, the Discharge Planner receives a copy of the patient's discharge information and data inputs the information into the RPMS system. Additionally, the document is scanned into the record, yet when the patient’s seen in the clinic this information is missed by the provider due to problems navigating the system and locating needed information.
This omission of relevant information can lead to serious complications for the patient from either under treatment or overtreatment of...