Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are becoming increasingly popular with the growing demand for convenient and high-quality healthcare services. Nowadays nursing care greatly depends on EHR because of the convenience of having all health information about a patient. One of the most important benefits of Electronic Health Records is the option to share information with healthcare providers to create new records, manage them, and consult the staff about the best solution for the patient’s treatment. Furthermore, EHRs facilitate interventions targeted at achieving an improvement in patients’ health outcomes. Therefore, the topic of Integrating Electronic Health Records into the nursing workflow should be taken into account in all stages of care planning so that the system helps achieve the goal of providing high-quality healthcare services to patients.
Impact of EHRs
According to the study conducted by Poissant, Pereira, Tamblyn, and Kawasumi (2005), the integration of EHR requires a significant amount of investments, with the majority of successful projects averaging in a couple of million dollars. Apart from tremendous investments, Electronic Health Records imply careful planning, management, and training for nurses to successfully integrate the systems into their practice. Another research conducted by Mold et al. (2015) concluded that patients’ access to online health records and services compared with standard records improved convenience and satisfaction with health outcomes. Furthermore, it was found that the ability to access Electronic Health Records positively impacted the quality of self-care as well as communication between nurses, doctors, and patients. Despite the fact that different ethnic and socioeconomic groups have limited access to EHRs, the overall impact of increased technological integration the healthcare sphere is beneficial.
Examples of EHR Implementation
A real-life example of successful EHR implementation is Cleveland Clinic combining Business Intelligence with EHR insight. The Clinic was among the first adopters of Electronic Health Records; however, the management decided to go further in improving the quality of patient care. The institution used the robust executive dashboard component integrated into their Epic Systems Electronic Health Records. To efficiently collect and analyze data stored in the EHR, the management hired a group of BI analysts and clinical informatics specialists to create personalized dashboards that gave the medical staff necessary information about how patient outcomes can be improved before discharge. For the successful implementation of the executive dashboard, Cleveland Clinic received an award from the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (UIC, n.d.). The main feature of Clinic’s success is the management’s desire to improve the quality of healthcare through technology. By involving health informatics professionals into the development of an effective Health Record system, a facility has been able to set itself apart from others, as well as combine the latest technologies in the sphere of informatics with the newest technological advances in medical equipment and treatments.
Another example of successful EHR implementation is Mayo Clinic Partnering with Apple to create an Electronic Health Records application. As one of the leaders in implementing EHR technologies, Mayo Clinic cooperated with Apple to establish strong relationships with patients and increase the quality of the provided health care. The release of HealthKit, a repository for health data gathered from a variety of tracking apps; Mayo Clinic managed to collect patient information (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and integrate it into Electronic Health Records system. This helped track any minor changes in patients’ health and react upon threats immediately.
Personal Experience with EHR
In my personal experience, Electronic Health Records reduce the amount of time and efforts necessary for manually filling out forms or trying to find all of the necessary health records. For example, recently, my cousin was staying at my parents’ house and had a very bad reaction to the food he had eaten. My parents had to take him to the hospital without knowing what has caused such a horrible reaction. Fortunately, because of his history of allergic reactions, my cousin had all health data integrated into the Electronic Health Record, so the nurses instantly knew about all food that could have caused the reaction and acted upon it immediately. This shows that in emergency situations nurses can rely on EHR to provide an appropriate level of health care and eliminate the health issue.
Electronic Health Records have proven to be a beneficial contribution to the way modern healthcare is being provided to patients. Nurses and doctors can access and review vital information about patients, examine their previous health data and make conclusions about what should be done to improve the health outcomes. Combining latest technological advances with the sphere of health care does not only imply medical equipment but also applications and systems that offer patients and nurses an opportunity to access all relevant health data at their fingertips. Nurses can spend more time and efforts on diagnosing and treating patients rather than filling out forms and gathering papers into the patient file. Examples of successful EHR integration into the healthcare practice showed that patients’ satisfaction with the provided care had significantly increased.
Mold, F., de Lusignan, S., Sheikh, A., Majeed, A., Wyatt, J., Quinn, T., Cavill, M., Franco, C., Chauhan, U., Blakey, H., Kataria, N., Arvanitis, T., & Ellis, B. (2015). Patients’ online access to their electronic health records and linked online services: a systematic review in primary care. Br J Gen Pract, 65(632), 141-151.
Poissant, L., Pereira, J., Tamblyn, R., & Kawasumi, Y. (2005). The impact of Electronic Health Records on time efficiency of physicians and nurses: A systematic review. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 12(5), 505-516.
UIC. (n.d.). Two examples of successful electronic health record implementation. Web.