There are various types of health care information structures, the core ones being health and information data, result management, order management, decision support, electronic communication and connectivity, patient support, administrative processes and reporting (Open Clinical).
Changeover from paper records has, however, not gone very quickly in some areas. According to 2003 data, USA physician office practices came in with a low of 17%; and even then, this information was not used much for clinical purposes but mainly for administrative ones. On the other hand, in Norway, Denmark and Sweden EMRs in primary care practices have topped 90%. While IT is not a solve-all-problems solution, there, nevertheless, are not many situations that it cannot make better. An electronic health record system’s three necessary abilities are: “To capture data at the point of care; to integrate data from multiple internal and external sources; to support caregiver decision making” (ibid.).
Rising health care costs seem to be a near-universal problem. Therefore, efforts have been and are being made to keep these costs as low as possible without lowering patient care. One such a way is to reduce patient hospital stay days to as few as possible and to“follow the patient throughout the care process within the various health care structures” (Ricci, 1997). For this, the ATREUS is an excellent model. It“refines the description of activities according to the user’s needs” (ibid.).
Open Clinical. Electronic Medical Records. Retrieved on January 25, 2013, from http://www.openclinical.org/emr.html
Ricci, F. L. (April 1997). ERCIM News Online Edition. Research on co-operation between healthcare structures at ISRDS-CNR. Retrieved on January 25, 2013, from http://www.ercim.eu/publication/Ercim_News