Ethical Dilemmas in Using Electronic Medical Records
Keywords:Electronic health records, ethics, electronic patient records.
Background: The dawn of this digital age fueled the development of electronic patient records which have drastically improved the quality of many healthcare activities like medication management, integration of patients’ data, biomedical research and many other aspects. But this advancement has come at a cost of several socioeconomic, legal and ethical problems. Here in this article, we will mainly focus on different ethical issues regarding EPR usage which is increasingly becoming more difficult to address. Methodology: The database search yielded 624 articles and only 29 articles were found eligible to be included in the study. The articles which were in English language and described actual ethical concerns instead of just stating the importance of considering ethical values while using EPR technology were included in the study. Results: Sixteen studies were eligible for inclusion and among them, fourteen studies (87.5 percent) were found to have sufficient and complete data to enable systematic review. Nine of these studies (64 percent) showed a significant improvement in examination scores and skills. Four (28.5 percent) of these studies indicated an increased level of motivation and confidence in the practical field. Out of all these, there is only one study that showed no important change between the PAL section and the control section. Conclusion: EHR is just like a medicine or a drug having side effects. We know it has certain drawbacks but we still choose to use it because the overall benefits outweigh the risks. This digitization is still a new business especially for some developing countries so there may be some concerns like hacking and third-party attacks etc. Therefore, the transparency of the EHRs should be made sure so that patient autonomy, privacy and security can remain intact. This will encourage patients to take part in the electronic health system and this will prove beneficial for public health.