Electronic Health Records Access During a Disaster

How to Cite

Horahan, K., Morchel, H., Raheem, M., Stevens, L., & Pawlak, S. (2014). Electronic Health Records Access During a Disaster. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v5i3.4826


As has been demonstrated previously, medical care providers that employ an electronic health records (EHR) system provide more appropriate, cost effective care and are better positioned than those who rely on paper records to recover if their facility is damaged as a result of severe storms, fires, or other events.  During events that have the potential to cause facility damage, providers often see a higher volume of patients and so a reduction in capacity can result in significant local or regional health system stress.  The events surrounding Superstorm Sandy in 2012 made it apparent that facilities that are able to provide disaster responders with access to their EHR system during large scale events – such as was the case for Long Beach Medical Center - have not only protected those records but are able to continue to provide high-quality, efficient care to patients – even when the facility is inoperable.  Additionally, because the planning for this capability included federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners the implementation went smoothly.

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