Provision of good healthcare services to the American citizens is the chief objective of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which further assigns the specific tasks to various regulatory bodies and accreditation agencies. The objective of having an accreditation agency in the healthcare industry is to ensure uniform quality standards, which enable proper coordination between the hospitals, physicians, healthcare professionals, government, patients, and other stakeholders (Lockwood, n.d.).
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Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) has been functioning as a federal healthcare agency for setting uniform quality standards in maintaining health records of the patients while ensuring privacy, confidentiality, security, and interoperability of these records (George Mason University, n.d.). The health records include vital pieces of information, such as medical history, allergies to specific drugs, surgeries, etc., which facilitate effective communication and coordination between the healthcare service providers to deliver qualitative care.
EHNAC has the responsibility to accredit healthcare organizations and processes for setting the standards for electronic healthcare records during transaction, data storage, and application in a healthcare organization. It is essential that the health records of the patients be saved in an electronic format that is accessible to healthcare professionals for referring to the previous diagnostic tests, eliminating the cost and time incurred during repetitive or redundant medical testing, facilitating electronic billing for payment by the insurance companies, and hassle-free healthcare service to the patients.
Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission is an independent accreditation agency that makes the documentation process much easier as the data is processed through special computer software, which maintains, monitors, and constantly improves the transaction standards due to the ease of availability of complete
health records of the patients (Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, 2010). The universal health coverage shall provide free health insurance to the underprivileged Americans, and hence, the role of EHNAC becomes more challenging for meeting the diverse demands of various classes of patients having different annual income, ethnicities, employer assisted health insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, etc.
If every hospital, nursing home, and clinic has its own standard, then it would be difficult
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for the stakeholders, including the patient, the hospital, and the insurance company to process the payment of the claim. However, if the healthcare organizations follow a system, which is accredited by EHNAC, seeking documentation to make uniform healthcare records, then there would be better filing of the available information and proper coordination between various departments of hospitals.
The EHNAC has assumed the leading role to manage the patients’ data electronically by setting uniform quality standards that guarantee privacy, security, and confidentiality of the patient’s information. It was reported that Spheris had taken the initiative to introduce a uniform clinical documentation procedure, namely, Clinical Documentation Architecture for Common Document Types, which would minimize the hassle, reduce the healthcare costs, improve communication between the healthcare professions, and deliver efficient services to the patients (DeMoss, 2010).
To allow adherence to uniform quality standards by all healthcare organizations, it is essential that the process should be certified by an accrediting agency, such as the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission. Through its expertise, the EHNAC provides interoperability and security to the entire documentation procedure of maintaining the electronic health records of the patients. Hence, Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission has been serving the role of an accreditation agency in the healthcare sector while ensuring uniform quality standards for electronic health records.
DeMoss, L. (2010). Setting the Standards: Spheris Joins CDA4CDT. Spheris. Retrieved May 29,
Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission. (2010). Retrieved May 29, 2010,
George Mason University. (n.d.). Accreditation Agencies in United States. Retrieved May 29,
Lockwood, W. (n.d.). What Are Health Care Regulatory Agencies? eHow. Retrieved May 29,
2010, from http://www.ehow.com/about_5187634_health-care-regulatory-agencies_.html