Such information, he says, would include medical observation, ward procedures, laboratory results, medical controlling, account management and billing, materials and pharmacy, and the like. As explained by Blobel (2002), inter-organizational virtual electronic healthcare records, in fact, can be built when health information systems within establishments converge to electronic patient record systems. EHRs require that much, he says, but they enable healthcare establishments to build a basis for any communication and cooperation within and between themselves (Ibid).
Lander and Daniel (n.d.).defines a virtual electronic health record (EHR) as a collection of individual records that reside in a variety of information systems and locations and on multiple types of media. It contains information from many health-related encounters and will collectively reflect the current health status and lifetime medical history of an individual.
There are many benefits that most healthcare professionals agree would ensue if the industry could finally implement a universal EHR. (Smith & Newell, n.d.). A lot of clinical and administrative benefits would be recognized then. As discussed by Smith & Newell (n.d.), there would be immediate and universal access to the patient record, easier and quicker navigation through records, no lost charts, and clinical data that is formatted to be easy to read and analyze. Further, there would be reduction of paperwork, documentation errors, and filing activities. Considered would be coding efficiency and efficacy, alerts for medication errors, drug interactions, and patient allergies, including the ability to electronically transmit information to other providers.
As to progress, EHR models are said to be still struggling towards maturity, but some key questions have arisen. Upham (2004) records that these include: whether the originating record should supply complete data or a summary; whether the data subsequently generated is episodic or longitudinal; and whether patients and providers will either control which information is given to the central record or be spectators as comprehensive data is given by remote systems. There are EHR models being developing in Australia and the United States and they vary in their answers to these questions. However, there is a less visible third EHR model which focuses on a web-based, distributed "personal" longitudinal record; however it raises discrete quality and confidentiality issues (Ibid).
After some decades, the public should be expecting that the healthcare industry has established a sound foundation for universal implementation of an electronic health record, however, this is not so. The vision of an industry-wide EHR seems so far from reality (Upham, 2004). Nevertheless, the national healthcare environment does not appear ready to give up the vision of a universal EHR (Ibid).
Many respected national healthcare associations and advocacy groups have issued mission statements and established initiatives in support of the EHR. For example, according to Upham (2004), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) have announced its support in many ways, proposing even an