eHealth can be defined as the conversion of manual health records to electronic health records and benefitting from the use of internet and health agreements in order develop an efficient communication between healthcare professionals. The term eHealth may include a number of applications of healthcare sector such as patients’ information, resources, data analysis tools, communication between healthcare professionals and patients, administrative data and electron health devices. In order word, eHealth can be defined as information in electronic format and communication technologies in the healthcare sector.
Healthcare Information system
Different counties around the world are moving forward to implement a national health information system which will help their citizens to avail healthcare services in an effective and quick manner (AbuKhousa, Mohamed & Al-Jaroodi, 2012). The governments are thinking to store the health-related information of each people in the health records, which also requires an appropriate security system to secure these health-related data of patients in an effective manner.
Electronic Health Records
The electronic health records (EHR) can be defined as a database or warehouse which have stored patients health-related data digitally with proper security so it can be exchanged during the requirements. In order words, EHR (Electronic Health Records) is defined as the individuals' health-related data of lifetime, with the objective of continuity and care. Security and privacy of these data are needed to be taken care, it these data get breaches out then it can hurt the sentiments of individuals.
Advantages of eHealth System
eHealth system offers a number of benefits which is why almost every country is thinking to implement eHealth System. Some of the advantages of the eHealth System are as such:
- With eHealth system, patients can schedule their appointment with healthcare professional online through healthcare portal. It can save time, cost and extra efforts of patients in an effective manner, as patients do not have to move from their home as they will be able to arrange an online consultation service.
- Electronic health data will provide people with clear and more insight into their health. As per their wish, they can even share their health-related information with anyone with just a few clicks (Botha, Botha & Herselman, 2014). Along with these, they will get an account in which, all health-related information will be stored which can be easily be accessed at any time and from any location. So, people do not have to carry their medical reports everywhere.
- Doctors have to do less paperwork, as everything will go online. They will be able to share the information among other colleagues in an easy and secure manner.
- At the point of care, doctors would be able to get accurate and complete information about the patients and their' medical history.
- Doctors and patients would be able to share the information among other clinicians and caretakers.
- Privacy and security of eHealth records will be enhanced in an effective manner.
- eHealth system will help providers to improve quality, productivity, and work-life balance.
Disadvantages of eHealth System
Along with the benefits, the eHealth system comes with some drawbacks too. Some of the disadvantages of the eHealth system are as follows:
- One of the main disadvantages of the eHealth system is that it is time and cost consuming. The start-up cost of this system is too high
- As all the health-related data of people will store on electronic databases then it might be vulnerable to several cyber-attacks such as denial of service attacks, phishing attack, malware attacks etc.
- Security and privacy of each person will be on a stake, as they feel their data might get a breach.
- Special training of electronic medical records will be required for people. Along with this, the software will add additional expense in paying people to take training (ELLIOTT et al., 2012).
- Due to the instantaneous nature of eHealth records, electronic health records must be updated immediately after the patients’ visit. If this not happens then the next doctor will rely on inaccurate data for treatment protocols.
- People will more get panic whenever they get a false alarm or misinterpret a file entry.
- There are several liability issues are there with Electronic Health Records implementation. For example, medical records may get destroyed or lost during the transition from a paper-based system to an electronic-based system which could lead to inappropriate treatment (J Johnson III, 2016).
AbuKhousa, E., Mohamed, N., & Al-Jaroodi, J. (2012). e-Health Cloud: Opportunities and Challenges. Future Internet, 4(3), 621-645. doi: 10.3390/fi4030621
Botha, M., Botha, A., & Herselman, M. (2014). The Benefits and Challenges of e-Health Applications: A Content Analysis of the South African context. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269401037_The_Benefits_and_Challenges_of_e-Health_Applications_A_Content_Analysis_of_the_South_African_context
ELLIOTT, A., DAVIDSON, A., LUM, F., CHIANG, M., SAADDINE, J., & ZHANG, X. et al. (2012). Use of Electronic Health Records and Administrative Data for Public Health Surveillance of Eye Health and Vision-Related Conditions in the United States. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.10.002
J Johnson III, R. (2016). A Comprehensive Review of an Electronic Health Record System Soon to Assume Market Ascendancy: EPIC®. Journal Of Healthcare Communications, 01(04). doi: 10.4172/2472-1654.100036