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New Electronic System Phases Out Paper Records

May 20, 2008

New Electronic System Phases Out Paper Records

Gazette Newspapers, May 12, 2008

A Long Beach, Calif. hospital community is joining the electronic revolution by trashing paper records and adopting an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) program. The idea of this is to allow the medical staff at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital to obtain patient information directly through a password-protected system that contains an medical histories, prescriptions, procedures, etc. This in turn will reduce technical errors and improve the patient’s overall experience.

“There are errors that occur, and we need to work on reducing that,” said Darice Hawkins, a clinical nurse specialist in the hospital’s department of cardiology. “This is more efficient for patients to get better care. We can all look at the same chart at the same time — it’s definitely different than using paper copies.”

As patients ourselves, we’re thrilled at the idea of quicker, accurate medical service, however we can’t help but wonder what security measures have been established. After all, sending medical records from department to department opens the door to potential tampering and illegitimate errors. We’d like to understand how the EMR program takes this into account and the ways in which it protects our private records from illegitimacy.

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