There are various practical reasons for deploying an electronic health records (EHR) system, and there is an increasing amount of research in the literature demonstrating that utilizing EHRs in the regular course of providing treatment has clinical and cost benefits. This seems to reason that practitioners and their patients would benefit similarly in extreme circumstances, like a declared disaster or even another public health emergency. As previously established, medical care professionals that use an electronic health records (EHR) system deliver more efficient and cost-effective treatment. Those providers are also better positioned to recover if their facility is damaged as a consequence of severe storms, fires, or other calamities than those that depend on paper documents.
The events surrounding Superstorm Sandy in 2012 showed that healthcare providers utilizing EHR systems might well be capable to utilize those systems for patient care reasons even during catastrophes that cause damage to structures and facilities, widespread power outages, or both (Schinasi et al., 2018). One of the fundamental concepts of preparedness is to include as many systems, procedures, equipment, and techniques that may be used during a disaster in daily operations as feasible. Knowing what elements could be used at a large-scale event removes one possible major hurdle. The utilization of an EHR system on a daily basis is a great illustration.
The National Planning Frameworks (the Frameworks) handle the five preparation mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery (Kedia et al., 2022). The Frameworks emphasize the notion of “whole community,” a shared responsibility paradigm in which people, corporations, other groups, and government (at all levels) collaborate to accomplish the National Preparedness Goal. The impact of Hurricane Sandy put many aspects of the Frameworks – particularly the Mitigation, Response, and Recovery components – to the test. It also helped to identify where strategies such as employing an EHR system can cross the frameworks from mitigation to response, and into recovery.
The deployment and regular use of EHR systems, as well as the collaboration formed between federal, state, municipal, and commercial institutions involved in disaster preparation, are obviously on that list. We’ve observed in the past, and it was true after Sandy, that using an EHR system may help with record recovery if a facility is damaged or destroyed. This experience also demonstrates that, with a little extra forethought, it is feasible to preserve access to an EHR system during a major event, even if a building has been damaged or destroyed.
Kedia, T., Ratcliff, J., O’Connor, M., Oluic, S., Rose, M., Freeman, J., & Rainwater-Lovett, K. (2022). Technologies enabling situational awareness during disaster response: a systematic review. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 16(1), 341-359.
Schinasi, L. H., Auchincloss, A. H., Forrest, C. B., & Roux, A. V. D. (2018). Using electronic health record data for environmental and place-based population health research: a systematic review. Annals of Epidemiology, 28(7), 493-502.
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Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 300–500 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions with your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.
Numerous medical organizations are keeping records online to eliminate the threat of a natural disasters. Discuss how this changes the security of medical information.
Note: Use APA style and cite at least 1 scholarly reference published within the last 5 years.
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