The Impact Of Nursing Informatics On Patient
Success in health care industry is often measured through patient outcomes. This metric is vital in ensuring that the available practices and procedures are efficient and also help in recognizing the ones that are not effective. Nonetheless, measuring patient outcomes is always associated with big data sets that are utilized to enhance these results in several ways. In turn, health informatics can play a crucial role in this process. For instance, informatics can help in appropriately gathering, assessing, and leveraging the data, which can be used to enhance processes, improve efficiency, identify patients who are at risk, and advance research in an effort to enhance patient outcomes. Moreover, McGonigle and Mastrian (2017) argue that informatics has led to emergence of new technologies in clinical practice such as smart pumps, electronic health records, wearables, bar-code medication administration systems, and smartphones which are designed to enhance efficiency, foster safety, and streamline nursing practice. As such, it is imperative for nurses to have informatics competency to help them fostering effective communication, mitigating medical errors, managing knowledge, and supporting point of care decision making (Glassman, 2017). It is against this backdrop that this paper will explore use of electronic health records (EHR) as the proposed nursing informatics project to improve patient outcomes and care efficiencies.
EHRs connote the digital adaption of patient paper based health records. The initiative has been proposed to address the issues that arise from the paper-based health records such as duplication, errors in drug administration, loss of records, mistaken identity, making of uninformed clinical decisions, and inefficient billing (Kruse et al., 2017). Since the health care environment is consistently changing and becoming highly competitive, the adoption of the EHRs can play a vital role in leveraging the patient care delivery and enhance the competitive capability of the care organization. Given the vital role that EHRs play in health care, Glassman (2017) calls for the meaningful use of EHRs. This involves sharing the data with patients and engaging them in their care within the frameworks of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Moreover, crucial patient care devices including vital sign monitors, cardiac monitors, and I.V. infusion pumps can be connected to EHRs to enhance the capacity of initiative and further improve patient outcomes (Glassman, 2017). Essentially, the use of EHRs is also supported by the American Nurses Association who calls for universally recognized terminologies among its members to support nursing practice within the EHR solutions (American Nurses Association, 2018).
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Clinicians encompass health care providers such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists et cetera who take center stage in patient care provision. Therefore, EHR implementation will help them to access accurate and updated patient records to enable them provide the best diagnosis and treatment to realize positive patient outcomes.
This is the key stakeholder who can either ensure the success of the project or its failure. A good management should provide all necessary support required for change and ensure that the project aligns with the expectations of other players. The success of the project will enhance the health setting’s reputation as an affordable, quality health care provider.
These are the primary stakeholders for implementing the EHR project. All the EHR endeavors are designed to improve the outcomes for patients and so, the project is designed to benefit the patients. Essentially, the success of the project will be measured based on the outcomes of the patients.
Front Office Staff
The staff at the front office plays a vital role in EHR implementation because they are tasked with key responsibility of feeding critical patient information including medical history, demographic, billing, and contact information into the EHR system. Any inappropriate entry in the system may lead to adverse impacts for patients.
EHR vendors are expected to design flexible systems that can meet the expectation of the organization, failure to which, the project will face eminent fall.
The implementation of EHRs will ensure enhancement of patient outcomes through provision of quality care. EHRs ensure provision of real-time, patient-oriented health data that are availed instantly and safely to the authorized users. Moreover, apart from providing medical and treatment history of the patient, EHRs also enable wider options of patient care due to its capability of accessing evidence-based care practice tools that can help providers to make informed decisions at the point of care. In addition, EHRs enables real-time point of care communication, which is essential in avoiding time wasted in peruse manual health records. Ultimately, the implementation of EHRs will lead to positive patient outcomes such as quality of health care, patient-centered care, reduction in hospital stays, and reductions in health care costs (Wani & Malhotra, 2018).
The project manager (PM) is one of the key members of the project team. The PM is expected to be technologically savvy and experienced in EHR implementation. The PM is tasked with responsibilities of overseeing the overall success of the project including attaining requirements and realizing deadlines for the implementation of the new EHR system (Vant, 2020). Moreover, the PM links various phases of the project to sophistically integrate and work together. The PM is also expected to facilitate the processes of planning, developing, designing, implementing, and testing phases of EHR to ensure they coordinate their effects to realize the desired goal of the project.
Informatics play a crucial role in ensuring that the available practices and procedures are efficient. For instance, informatics can help in appropriately gathering, assessing, and leveraging the data, which can be used to enhance processes, improve efficiency, identify patients who are at risk, and advance research in an effort to enhance patient outcomes. However, this paper specifically delved into EHR, which emanated from the informatics. EHR technology was suggested due to its potential in addressing the issues that arise from the paper-based health records such as duplication, errors in drug administration, loss of records, mistaken identity, making of uninformed clinical decisions, and inefficient billing. Moreover, the implementation of EHRs is associated with advantages of enhancing of patient outcomes through provision of quality care. EHRs ensure provision of real-time, patient-oriented health data that are availed instantly and safely to the authorized users.
American Nurses Association. (2018). Inclusion of recognized terminologies supporting nursing practice within electronic health records and other health information technology solutions. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nursing-excellence/official-position-statements/id/Inclusion-of-Recognized-Terminologies-Supporting-Nursing-Practice-within-Electronic-Health-Records/
Glassman, K. S. (2017). Using data in nursing practice. American Nurse Today, 12(11), 45–47. Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ant11-Data-1030.pdf
Kruse, C. S., Mileski, M., Vijaykumar, A. G., Viswanathan, S. V., Suskandla, U., & Chidambaram, Y. (2017). Impact of electronic health records on long-term care facilities: systematic review. JMIR medical informatics, 5(3), e35.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Vant, A. (2020). Four Crucial Members of an EHR Implementation Team. Ehrinpractice.com. Retrieved 11 June 2020, from https://www.ehrinpractice.com/four-crucial-members-of-an-ehr-implementation-team-154.html.
Wani, D., & Malhotra, M. (2018). Does the meaningful use of electronic health records improve patient outcomes?. Journal of Operations Management, 60, 1-18.