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There are various views regarding the President Obama’s ability to ensure that all medical records in the United States are converted into the electronic format by 2014 but there is no denying the fact that an increased adoption of EMR or electronic medical records by physicians, healthcare organizations and their related business associates is now a gradually-progressing certainty.A rather recent legislation further underlines the initiative for moving onto the electronic platform of storing patient medical records—called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or the ARRA.The digital wave must be embraced to improve the healthcare disparities of Americans.

Comparative effectiveness, Computerization, data, EHR, electronic health record, electronic health records, health information technology, informatics, Meaningful Use, nurses, nursing documentation, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Stephanie Sheridan, Students, sustainability (3), Available at CCHIT certified products also meet requirements set forth by HHS in final physician self-referral law and anti-kickback statute rules, providing access to external means of implementing EHR systems.Federal initiatives are under way to drive adoption of interoperable EMRs, including funding of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health IT portfolio.The problem with the EHR, however, is that the pretense of universality leads to information collection that is largely irrelevant to the patient.And, more fundamentally, that the EHR technology, being in its infancy, is hopelessly inefficient.Currently 64% of health care facilities still use paper-based documentation; these units will have to convert to electronic health records in the near future or face penalties (Kelley, Brandon, & Docherty, 2011).“Electronic health record (EHR) is defined as the computer application that electronically stores individuals’ identifiable health data” (Layman, 2008, p. The EHR is supposed to benefit the patient’s overall health care outcomes from several different aspects such as improved quality care, reduced cost, and the resolution of medication errors (Linder, Ma, Bates, Middleton, & Stafford, 2007).The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has funded several major initiatives to harmonize standards and create a certification process for EMRs so that different products can interoperate better and be easily and objectively compared. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognized initial criteria for certification of ambulatory EHR systems as recommended by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).This will enable decisionmakers to adopt EMRs more easily. The criteria were updated in 2010 These criteria will help reduce barriers for ambulatory providers to adopt EHR systems by ensuring confidence in purchased products.Despite these benefits, widespread adoption of EMRs in the United States is low; a recent survey indicated that only 4 percent of ambulatory physicians reported having an extensive, fully functional electronic records system and 13 percent reported having a basic system.[2] Among the most significant barriers to adoption are: Recognizing the role that EMRs can play in transforming health care, in 2003, the Institute of Medicine issued a group of eight key functions for safety, quality, and care efficiency that EMRs should support.

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