Successful implementation of the electronic health records systems in hospitals have significant effects on the operation of the facility, the performance of the nurses and the safety of the patients (Berg, 2001). There is need to examine the specific benefits of the EHR systems to the different parts of the organization such as the nurses and to the patient regarding their safety.
a. Effect of implement of EHR on professional nursing
The successful implementation of EHR systems in an organization has a significantly positive impact on the professional nursing practice (Jones, and Adams, 2010). Firstly, EHR reduces the number of medication administration and nursing errors. Before the introduction of EHR, nurses were bound to make some errors in the administration of medication to patients due to poor records of the patient conditions or the medications to be given to each patient. The nurses would, therefore, offer wrong medications to the patients as they lacked back up for the prescribed medications. Further, there could be errors of omission and commission in the written sources which could lead nurses to administer the wrong drugs to the wrong patients.
It also reduces the time of documentation (Carter, and American College of Physicians, 2008). While nurses need to keep records each time, the analog styles of making records took a lot of time as it involved preparation of long and cumbersome documents for recording. EHR makes this process simple as the records can easily be prepared using a computer.
Apart from reducing the documentation time, EHR improves the quality of the records kept in the hospital. The documents are uniform and neat making them presentable, unlike the paperwork that could be shoddy and worn out with time (Berg, 2001). The electronic records can also be reproduced with ease by simply printing. The documents are also safer as different copies of the same document can be saved in the electronic version.
EHR also enhances communication among the nurses making the process simple. In the traditional recording system, it was difficult for nurses to communicate and even assist each other in administering the medication to the patients (Jones, and Adams, 2010). EHR makes communication among the nurses simple by use of the technology system. Further, nurses can easily assist each other in offering medication to patients.
b. Implications of EHR for vulnerable populations
The vulnerable populations in the nursing practice will benefit more from the EHR system since the hospital needs to keep their data regularly (Berg, 2001). It will, therefore, be easy to make the records and amend them regularly if their conditions change. It will also be easy and fast for the nurses to analyze the medical progress of the patients under this category.
Vulnerable groups need regular attention and monitoring, the application of the EHR systems would thus make it easy to evaluate and note any changes in their medical conditions and thus change or regulate their drug use easily (Carter, and American College of Physicians, 2008). The hospital will also make it easy for other vulnerable groups by recording their data accurately such that in their next visit they would not need to carry along their records but the medical practitioners can check their medical history in the computer.
c. Implications of practicing nursing in hospitals with EHR
Health facilities that have already implemented and used the EHR systems successfully have recorded improved quality of services and outcomes (Jones, and Adams, 2010). The nurses have been able to render more quality services such as medication due to the improved records. This is due to the reduced number of errors.
A second factor is the low complication and mortality rates. This is mostly associated with the vulnerable groups whose rates mortality have decreased significantly due to a reduction in the number of errors committed by nurses (Chen, Garrido, and Chock, 2009). Further, the complications caused by confusions in administering medication to patients has reduced.
A. Role of EHR in enhancing quality and patient safety
Health facilities must ensure that the patient is safe from danger at all times. This includes taking care of the patient and keeping their records save (Carter, and American College of Physicians, 2008). EHR has become essential in maintaining patient safety by keeping their records well and free from confusion. Patients were prone to dangers of errors resulting from poor records kept. This affected the health status of the patients and even death.
Following the good records kept in the hospital, nurses are able to offer the right medication always without experiencing any difficulties or confusion. Service delivery is also improved by the ease of record keeping.
B. Quality Outcomes
There is increased patient safety due to the effective patient and nursing care and better coordination among the medical practitioners and more so the nurses. EHR enhances coordination between not only the nurses but also other medical practitioners (Chen, Garrido, and Chock, 2009). Due to the neat records kept in the system, it improves the service delivery practices of the medical practitioners since they can easily track and understand the medical history of patients. This thus improves the quality of services delivered by a different medical practitioner and thus can communicate effectively.
B. Improving Patient Outcomes Using EHR
The need to improve the health status of both an individual and the community at large demands an effective record management system such as the use of EHR. Firstly, EHR gives an understanding of the patient and reduces errors in the dissemination of medication. When the records are clear and that the nurse can easily find the specific medication for a patient, the nursing medication errors are eradicated (Chen, Garrido, and Chock, 2009). The records can also be used in conducting statistics in given regions on the spread of certain conditions. This statistics will, therefore, be of significant benefit to all the members of the society.
Berg, M., (2001). Implementing information systems in health care organizations: myths and challenges. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 64:14356
Carter, J. H., & American College of Physicians (2008). Electronic health records: A guide for clinicians and administrators. Philadelphia: ACP Press.
Chen, C., Garrido, T., & Chock, D., (2009). The Kaiser Permanente Electronic Health Record: transforming and streamlining modalities of care. Health Aff. (Millwood); 28:32333.
Jones, S., S., & Adams, J., L., (2010). Schneider EC, et al. Electronic Health Record Adoption and Quality Improvement in US Hospitals. American Journal of Managing Care 16: 12.
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