Effect of Electronic Health Records System Adoption in Health Care Settings
Over the past decades, the advancement of technology has affected most industries in the United States to adopt computerization in their workplaces. Despite these changes, adoption of information technology has been slow in health care workplaces. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted in 2009 to promote expansion of the health information technology implementation in health care settings. Although the adoption of health information technology such as electronic health record (EHR) has been growing rapidly since the legislation of the HITECH act, more than half of the hospitals lack a basic system of EHR. The EHR system allows the health care providers to save and retrieve patient’s data, promoting improvement in clinical, organizational, and societal outcomes. Despite the benefits of EHR, some studies in the literature emphasize disadvantages associated with EHR including high investment and maintenance cost, work flow disruptions in attempt to learn new technology, and privacy concerns. Even though emphasis on importance of EHR is constantly being reinforced, researchers continue to debate whether implementations of the EHR system will result in gain or loss. In order to improve the health care delivery system, the EHR system should be adopted because of its potential benefits of health information technology.
Electronic Health Records System
The use of informational technology has spread throughout the healthcare settings since the first thought of integrating computers for use in medicine in the 1960s (Quantin, Burgun& Venot, 2014). Despite the development of electronic health record system, the adoption of the EHR system remained slow in the United States. In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act authorized approximately $30 billion to increase the expansion of the EHR systems by providing incentive payments to hospitals that succeeded in achieving meaningful-use criteria (DesRoches, Charles, Furukawa, Joshi, Kralovec, Mostashari & Jha, 2013). Meaningful-use criteria are divided into three stages to examine whether the health care facility is using the electronic health records effectively. These criteria were designed so that health care facilities can progress to provide higher-quality and more-efficient care (DesRoches et al., 2013). Since the HITECH incentive program came into effect, the EHR adoption rate has increased extensively compared to previous years when there were no incentives. Now, health care facilities that were able to meet meaningful-use criteria receive incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid. For example, physicians with more than 30% of their patients with Medicaid are qualified to receive up to $63,750 for incentives (Menachemi & Collum, 2011). Hospitals will face financial penalties in the form of reduced Medicare reimbursement if...