passage of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
(HIPAA) in 1996 spurred further federal regulation
mandating electronic medical record keeping in an effort to standardize insurance
claims, make medical records more portable, and eliminate medical errors.
Electronic health records (EHR) were expected to facilitate the availability of
test and diagnostic information, reduce space requirements and transcription
costs, and ideally increase the number of patients served each day. Charged
with protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of Oregon citizens, the
Oregon Medical Board shares in these goals.
the extent that EHR and “meaningful use”
has become the standard of care, it is the responsibility of the Medical Board
to ensure that the standard of care is met and to assist licensees wherever
possible. The Board recognizes that licensees will need to hone computer skills,
become proficient in billing and coding, and in some cases utilize voice recognition
software in order to generate EHR. As with other areas in the evolving field of
health care, it will be incumbent on providers to build these skill sets and
adapt to the new standard.
has the potential to improve health care quality and patient satisfaction.
However, the Board also understands that the documentation can seem limitless,
and the patient care provider, the most expensive and time stressed link in
health care, may become subject to the role of data entry.
order to not interfere with the establishment of therapeutic and compassionate
communication between provider and patient, it is imperative that software
developers, health care organizations, and providers work to optimize EHR as a
tool for providing efficient, patient-centered care while minimizing
interference in traditional provider-patient interaction.
electronic health records progress, the Oregon Medical Board is mindful of the
need to balance the goals of health care efficiency, safety, and portability
with those of an informative and readable record that can be created without
undue complexity or burden on the increasingly stressed healthcare professionals.
– Adopted August 6, 2015