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Information Technology Application: Electronic Health Record

An Electronic Health Record is a system that has the capability of collecting health information in an electronic form related to various patients. Kamoun (2006) explains that the information is digital hence enabling it to be distributed and shared across a wide variety of health care outlooks. For it to be accessible to all who might need it there is a need of having an integrated network in which the data is embedded into the complex information systems. The data that is available electronically would be varied to an extent that it may comprise of a detailed profile of a patient or it would be summarized. Comprehensive Electronic Health record does include the patient demographics, their prior medical history as well as all the related medications administered before and the likely allergies particular to the patient. It should extend to the immunizations, the laboratory results after the tests are done, all the scans and images done at the radiology department as well as all the records related to the billing of the medications given per department. Kamoun (2006) argues that this is a system that is wholly meant for around recording of the patient visits which does boost the smooth and automatic plus a procedural flow of the work in a hospital care settings. This system does give a boost to the safety concerns as a decision reached is supported by evidence which enables management of the quality and easy relay of the outcomes.

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Applications

The electronic health records are used for the recording of all facts related to health care as well as the repository of the information that is clinical. An electronic health record is paramount in a hospital setting as it does facilitate immediate access to the electronic data related to a specific patient. The patient likely diagnosis and all kinds of allergies as well as the full count of the results from the lab that is basic to the clinical personnel in the making of the decisions are relayed in time hence ensuring the provision of a more secure medication. Kamoun (2006) argues that the security and reliability that is attached to the electronic health records as well as the real-time accessibility of the documentation wherever they are needed facilitates the provision of health care services as opposed to the paperwork that does accompany the process instead. This application does ease the mediation process as it does involve the click of the button and the relevant data is made available to the end-user. It is a system that generally allows the gathering and the management of all the health concerns of a patient and facilitates its accessibility which is paramount to a smooth and timely health care administration.

It is also applicable to information sharing and the ease of connection coupled with interoperability. The usage of the Electronic Health record allows a health care center to have the likeliness of providing a secure and more accessible communication channel between the providers of health care and the patients. Ease of communication does facilitate the improvement of overall care which comprises of diagnosis as well as the treatments. Moreover, the information sharing interface does boost teamwork and process coordination.

Electronic Health records do also facilitate the accessibility of information hence it is used in the management of the results. Through the system, the care providers can fast access the prior and recent results concerning for instance the tests from the laboratory software avenues hence enabling the most sufficient manner of managing these outcomes. The paper system does involve the personal visiting of the laboratory by the patient or the medical care providers to pick up the results but through the electronic care system, these outcomes are available wherever an authorized person is logged into the information systems.

Management of holistic medication is also possible through Electronic Health records. According to Hortin (2006), this system has an electronic and integrated database that enables the relaying of orders that are related to various departments such as radiology, immunization centers, or even the supplies and this does make it easy for the overall administration of medication. In addition to this, the systems do enable the accessibility of the online drug to the other interactions and the medications research coupled by their ways of usage.

The electronic health record is also used for order management in a health care setting. This record-keeping system can allow the entry of data and its storage that is related to orders on all forms of medications. Such an application of it does give room for sufficient data feeding into the system of all orders and their relative authorization.

Electronic Health Records are also applied for support decisions that are meant for the management of the flow of the work in the office as per the care-supported standards. These records are used to deliver electronic alerts that are meant to ensure compliance to the health care exceptional practices and the identification of the interactions that are related to the drugs. All this is incorporated into the systems for the sole purpose of ensuring there is sufficient planning and deliverance of standardized care to all the patients and it basically should work as the main source of information in the general patient care provision.

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Hortin (2006) argues that Electronic Health records regulation is adopted to ensure the promises that come with it shall be realizable within the span that is supposed to be. Regulation is supposed to ensure that the confidential data that is stored in the systems does not get into the wrong hands. This will ensure that only the promises that came with its implementation shall be realized. Regulations are also meant to take care of the risks that are associated with the software and other failures which may be due to its complexities. Health information technology does go through a wonderful moment due to the adoption of the system but it’s mandatory to give it a significant approach. Regulations are also aimed at ensuring that the technical hitches are realized earliest possible and the likely solutions are put in place.

Poissant et al. (2005) argued that the implementation of an Electronic Health record is faced with barriers such as the difficulties of having the prior paperwork recordings incorporated into the system. Older records can only be fed into the electronic systems through scanning and then having them stored as images though the majority of the medical caregivers are unsatisfied by them because they are hard to read. Due to the procedures that are needed for the conversion of the prior documentation for incorporation into the Electronic systems then it becomes a drawback to have them.

Software that has the services of electronic Health recording system is very expensive to acquire thus making it very hard to have the system into a simple health care facility. This problem is coupled with the surge in finances that are needed to train the members of staff till they attain proficiency on the usage of the system. Record updating in more than one region becomes difficult in an electronic health records system hence making it hard to have it. There lacks coordination in the systems as far as record synchronization is concerned hence medical records do need there be prior standardization.

The privacy concerns also need to be addressed during the implementation of the systems as the ease of information exchange through the internet does threaten the confidentiality of the data. This is more so affected by the adequacy that is likely to be realized in the adoption of the standards that are meant to govern the electronic records.

The other drawback is the hardware restrictions. Poissant et al. (2005) explained that for a complete implementation of the system there is a great need of having a good number of computers to accommodate the demands of all the clients and all providers of health care. Such a limitation makes it very hard to fully implement the electronic system.

According to Thienpont, Siekmann, & Brossard (2005), an electronic system can cut down on wastes and chances of fraud as all transactions that are done are tracked by someone else. This makes it hard for one to practice fraud as it shall be detected as soon as it is committed which is different from the usage of the manual paper system. More so wastage of resources is eliminated as a single computer, for instance, can serve a particular station for several years. Paperwork does waste space and other related resources as opposed to electronic systems hence making it the better option.

Implementation process

  1. Ensure that the Electronic health record system is well defined across the organization. This involves the familiarization of all members of staff of what is an Electronic Health record with the aim that all people shall be ending in the same direction.
  2. The setting of the expectations that are likely to be realized from the system is also paramount. It should be the second step of the implementation process to outline what one is eyeing from the upgrade of the paper recording to the electronic interface.
  3. A good choice of technology should come third in the whole process. One should ensure that the technology they have can support the system without any failures or disappointments.
  4. Acceptance and the advocating of the process variations should follow. One has to ensure that the process is well promoted for the sole purpose of success.
  5. Finally, one should take time and strategize how the synergy of moving from the paper-centered system into the electronic system of recording shall be realized.

Time line

This process should run for 12 months.

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Task name Duration Start Finish
Defining EHR 2months 01.01.2010 28.02.2010
Setting expectations 2 months 01.03.2010 30.04.2010
Choice of technology 2months 01.05.2010 31.06.2010
Promoting 4 months 01.07.2010 31.010.2010
Adoption of the system 2 months 01.11.2010 31.12.2010

References

Hortin, M. (2006). Factors in Defining the Nurse Informatics Specialist Role. Journal of the Health Information Systems Society, 20(12), 68-84.

Kamoun, R. (2006).Technology: How Healthcare IT Can Address the Nursing Shortage. Journal of the Health Information Management, 20(2), 216-264.

Poissant, L., Pereira, J., Tamblyn, R and Kawasumi, Y. (2005).The Impact of Electronic Health Records on Time Efficiency of Physicians and Nurses: A Systematic Review. Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, 12(8), 505-516.

Thienpont, J. G., Siekmann, A. S., & Brossard, W. R. (2005). Clinical Documentation for HIMSS Nursing Informatics. Journal of the Health Information Systems Society, 16(14), 164-186.

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