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Project Risk Management on Digitized Medical Record for a Health Clinic

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Risks to patients, staff, and organizations are prevalent in healthcare. Thus, it is necessary for an organization to have qualified healthcare risk managers to assess, develop, implement, and monitor risk management plans with the goal of minimizing exposure. There are many priorities to a healthcare organization, such as finance, safety and most importantly, patient care.

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Information Technology is almost a new word in the healthcare industry. Traditionally, health professionals and the health care industry have put substantial emphasis on the practitioner's knowledge and skills and the practices of the individual expert. Collaborative use of information systems and systematic business management of critical health data is somewhat threatening to the traditions of medical practice

There is a natural tension between the interests of the healthcare professional and the interests of the business executive. Business executives are concerned with the financial viability of the organization, the return on investment, and the revenue cycle, which are usually the drivers for information technology systems and initiatives. However, healthcare practitioners have to utilize these systems, assist in their implementation, and contribute to their optimization. There is big risk in not managing this organizational tension effectively. Without the acceptance and adoption of new information technology by practitioners, the benefits may never be realized. It is fundamental to the success of IT projects that they provide tangible benefits to the end user.

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Another difficulty to be considered relates with the possible simultaneous existence of two medical records for the same patient, a computerized one and another in paper format, a frequent situation in the beginning of the EHR implementation, so that a patient will have a record on paper referring to past events, and another one in electronic form for future events. (. Carter B., 2011). However, this duality weakens many of the advantages aimed by the EHR in terms of efficiency and error prevention and may even cause confusions and malfunctions

In Johnson v. Hillcrest Health Center, Inc. – 70 P.3d 811 (Okla. 2003) – the doctor sent the patient home twice alleging that his condition was not serious, but the patient ended up dying in another hospital of heart attack because his heart condition was not diagnosed in due time. In court, the claimant, Mrs. Johnson, wife of the deceased, alleged that the doctors and the hospital failed in storing the results of the exams, which were placed in the wrong chart, so that the doctor did not find them. However, the doctor could have traced them in the system, what he did not, since probably he was used to solely verify the paper chart.

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Usually, nationwide implementation of EHRs is a necessary, although not sufficient, part in transforming the US health care system for the better. EHR adoption must be considered one of many approaches that diversify our focus on quality improvement and cost reduction. The current major legislative and political support for EHRs represents the greatest investment in health information technologies in US history. Over time, providers and researchers will be eager to quantify the returns that are expected from these investments.

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Mangalmurti SS, Murtagh L, Mello MM. Medical malpractice liability in the age of electronic health records. N Engl J Med. 2010 Nov;363(21):2060–2067.

Ruder DB. Malpractice claims analysis confirms risks in EHRs. Patient Saf Health Care. 2014 Feb.

Carter B. Electronic medical records: a prescription for increased medical malpractice liability? Vand J Ent and Tech. 2011.

Weir CR, Hurdle JF, Felgar MA, Hoffman JM, Roth B, Nebeker JR. Direct text entry in electronic progress notes. An evaluation of input errors.

Sparnon E, Marella WM. The role of the electronic health record in patient safety events. PA Patient Saf Advis. 2012 Dec;9(4):113–121.

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