Health IT expert says electronic medical records finally catching on

June 19, 2012

The U.S. Olympic Committee is converting to electronic medical records (EMRs) this month for hundreds of athletes who will be competing in London, as well as thousands of other athletes who have been seen by Olympic Committee doctors in recent years.

EMRs also are catching on nationwide as the federal government encourages with , and Corey Angst, assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business and an expert on , says "Policy makers seemed to have listened and are not just insisting on EMR adoption, but more importantly, they are mandating that the systems be used in a meaningful way. There are specific things that must be measured and reported for hospitals and doctors to receive the incentives."

Angst conducts research on the transformational effect of IT, technology usage and IT value. A proponent of national digitization of information, he believes EMRs standardize processes, increase efficiencies and greatly diminish the potential for .

"There still continue to be barriers, and the biggest one seems to be convincing doctors that there is value in using EMRs," Angst says. "Some have embraced them, while others remain very resistant, stating that EMRs are not intuitive, don't map well onto their preferred workflow, and are generally difficult and slow to use."

Another barrier is privacy.

"Small but vocal anti-EMR groups and individuals worry that electronic systems can be breached and that simply by digitizing personal information, we are making it much easier for people--authorized and unauthorized-- to access our records," Angst says. "Both are legitimate concerns, but I personally believe we can safeguard against some of these issues and that overall the benefits do outweigh the costs.

"I think it is fantastic that the U.S. is finally going digital," Angst says. "I can't imagine the complexity of trying to maintain the mountains of paper records for those athletes. It not only makes sense for their internal network of doctors who treat the athletes, but it also is important for the athlete to be able to have access."

Also, Angst points out, this creates an interesting dilemma related to the many doping claims in sports.

"Presumably, all blood tests and prescription data will be recorded and accessible within the system, and any unauthorized or authorized access would be tracked," he says. "The digital log would show who accessed the information, where, in the past, it was almost impossible to pinpoint this information when everything was on paper."

Explore further: Lifestyle counseling and glycemic control in patients with diabetes: True to form?

More information: Angst co-authored e-prescribing papers published in both the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and Health Affairs, as well as a paper about the diffusion of EMRs in Management Science and another on EMR privacy concerns in MIS Quarterly.

Related Stories

Lifestyle counseling and glycemic control in patients with diabetes: True to form?

May 24, 2011
Electronic medical records (EMRs) have been in use for more than 30 years, but have only increased in utilization in recent years, due in part to research supporting the benefits of EMRs and federal legislation. As EMRs have ...

Recommended for you

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.