Every patient that stays within a hospital for any kind of medical condition or any given circumstance is recorded at the point of entry along with any kind of treatment that was received. This information usually includes but is not limited to the patient’s name, gender, age, personal identifiable information, the purpose of the stay within the hospital, doctors and nurses that treated the condition along with many other pieces of information valuable for the hospital to keep recorded. Hospital records have been processed for more than several decades when the need to keep updated records became a necessity after each procedure was done on a given medical condition for each patient.
The importance of hospital records is highly valuable in today’s world due to the nature of the patients’ medical conditions being treated at the hospital. The main purpose of why hospital records are created, processed and archived is mainly because hospitals need by local and state regulations enforce the standards for the treatment processes of each patient. A hospital needs to know whether or not a given individual has been at the hospital and if so, what kind of condition did he or she have that was treated effectively. In its general sense, almost all patients need further treatment appointments and regular check-ups after the initial consultation or visit. For this reason, hospitals keep an updated record of everything that is done to the patient for organizational purposes for the hospital, patient and doctors or any other healthcare professional.
Due to many medical malpractices that occur all over the world, the United States has established stringent regulations that enforce the update of hospital records of each incoming and outgoing patient. This information allows the hospital to recommend and/or suggest any further treatment, medication or therapy that should be done in order to help the patient to eliminate any kind of potential risk in leaving his condition untreated. Many hospitals also use this information for their studies that allow effective research and development in the healthcare industry, with the sole purpose to bring these studies in the hands of experts and let them research any potential trends, patterns, conditions and scenarios that must be taken into consideration for the overall well-being of society.
Specialized personnel and professionals at each hospital can only access the hospital’s records by specifying a solid and valid reason in doing so. Many hospital records are usually kept archived and only a few people can access them freely, such would be the case of the doctors, nurses or other health care professionals that are involved directly with the given patient’s record. It is important to also note that all hospitals are required by law to not give out the patient’s personal information, hospital records or any other kind of medical-related information to third parties since this would be a violation of privacy laws. The hospital can only do so with the consent and sole authorization of the patient in which a written authorization from the patient is required in most cases.
Due to the technological advances in computerized systems and with the internet, many hospitals now have switched to computerized database recording systems instead of paper-and-pen recording systems. The advantage of computers along with their effective use of databases have allowed hospitals to record almost all their given patients’ records on a secure database and access them via other computers with the option of printing, transferring and expounding the recorded information with other professionals within the hospital. All regulations, restrictions and laws are followed in these recording systems, with the greatest advantage to hospitals to save paper, enhance the level of productivity and recording scope, as well as reducing costs and using more flexibility in the 21st century.
The use of hospital records has been widely abused and misused across the country by many hospitals. Due to these reasons, many hospitals and local health care organizations have established the most comprehensive safety standards that must be met in an efficient manner in order to avoid at all costs the misuse or abuse of hospital records. Patients’ information within a hospital’s database is secured with the highest levels of encryption and safety. Whenever a hospital does not meet with these standards, the local health organizations or other forms of authority within the industry can effectively fine the hospital for huge sums of funds in order to establish the idea that the patients’ information must remain confidential, secured and properly archived, whether in paper or through computerized systems.
In summary, hospital records are an effective means of taking care of each patient. Without the records, knowing what happened to each patient and what treatments, surgeries or steps have done would be incredibly challenging. The science, art and efficient manner of managing hospital records encompass a very advanced career field with many emerging opportunities across the United States due to the ageing population. For this reason, hospital records will continue to exist in the forms of computerized databases or through paper records.