The Health Record, also known as the electronic health record (EHR), is a compilation of a patient’s medical history that may be transmitted electronically from one healthcare facility to another.
It contains information on past illnesses, treatments, interactions with healthcare providers and other patients, medication use, and allergies. These records are kept for future reference for the individual and their family.
Additionally, these records often act as a database for epidemiological studies on trends in health care. Therefore, the Health Record serves the secondary purpose of data collection for epidemiological purposes.
The need for national standards regarding Health records was emphasized by passing the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.
This legislation requires that all healthcare providers have an electronic system by which patients’ past medical history and health information can be stored electronically and shared with others using a set of common technology standards.
Additionally, some scholars claim this legislation promotes the conservation of medical records because they can easily be stored in one digital location instead of various paper copies held separately or at different locations.
Recruitment is a major challenge in epidemiological studies. Studies on large populations are the most useful because they can be used to make arguments on a population level.
However, if participation rates are too low, it is harder for researchers to generalize their results.
In such situations, the Health Record is an invaluable tool for recruitment purposes: it provides detailed personal information about the study subject, including address, age group, and sex, as well as family history of disease via past medical events such as pregnancies and surgeries.
These data can often be used for initial eligibility criteria for the study. Additionally, records can provide helpful contact details of family members when communicating information about the research project.
Using the Health Record as a data collection system can benefit epidemiological studies. These records often allow access to medical history, medications, past medical events, and contacts.
Because this data is captured electronically, it is not affected by loss or damage to the original paper version.
However, the downside of using a Health Record as a data collection system is that it allows access to private details of the individual, which makes them harder to obtain, such as medical records and social security numbers.
The analysis phase takes place using the information collected from all forms of the Health records, including paper copies and online records. These data are analyzed using epidemiological research methods such as risk factors, screening tools, and statistical analysis.
Once the analysis is complete, disease and medication use trends can be identified. The information from the Health Record is used to inform politics and policies within healthcare.
Member states responding to a particular situation may be able to access local or regional health records that have been created by health care providers within their own country or abroad.
Access to these records can aid in epidemiological studies, but it should be well documented and regulated to avoid abuse of these information systems.
View Also –