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Australia: Study of Hospital Use of Paper Records, Urges Transition to Integrated EHRs and Embrace MyHR

Healthcare IT News writes: The use of paper records, a lack of uniformity in electronic medical records and the wildly varying quality of medical data collected poses risks to patient care, according to a Monash University study into medical records in Melbourne hospitals. In an audit of medical records at five major university teaching hospitals, including one private hospital, the researchers found “discordance” in the medical information in the different hospitals’ systems, risking medication mistakes. The research, ‘Electronic health records and online medical records: an asset or a liability under current conditions?’, published in Australian Health Review, recommends the implementation of medical history documentation guidelines and standardised discharge summaries in Australian healthcare services to help solve the problem.  The study also recommends transition from paper and scanned medical records to a more complete, accurate and unified patient-centred EHR, and advocates for healthcare provider uptake of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s national My Health Record.

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