When making a decision to implement a new electronic health record (EHR) system at Bright Road Health Care, it is necessary to consider the range of limitations with which the team is dealing at the moment. The current system of collecting patient data, writing it out on paper, and manually inserting the information into a patient data system that is only available at nurses’ stations is outdated. The record system is inefficient and requires nurses to do double work, which is limiting their productivity. This calls for the establishment of an effective EHR system at the facility.
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Based on my findings, the management of the healthcare facility is deciding between two electronic solutions that have different benefits and limitations in their operations. Patient Data Systems represent installed on server solutions with a basic interface embedded in them. The eTrail solution is cloud-based and does not present any setup costs for the facility, as well as allows customized and automated reporting. In terms of cost-effectiveness, the price of integrating either of the solutions equals out depending on the additional modifications that will be installed within the systems.
It is important to note that each of the mentioned systems represents its benefits and limitations. For example, when integrating a Patient Data System, the facility will install terminals in as many locations as possible, which contributes to increased costs. However, such systems present greater security because data will be stored on servers. The eTrail system offers greater flexibility and can be used from multiple devices, including phones and tablets, which is convenient for nurses. However, cloud data storage is subjected to high-security risks.
Nevertheless, the integration of eTrail is the recommended solution for Bright Road Health Care as the facility requires a flexible and intuitive system that will be easy to integrate within the current processes. Cloud-based EHR systems are much simpler in their implementation since the software is run on the web instead of computes, which means that there are no additional costs of hardware or software installation.
Compared to the Patient Data System, eTrail does not require licensing, maintenance, and update fees and can be run at a fraction of the cost on a long-term basis. It is highly likely that the facility will only have to pay a monthly fee for eTrail, which is the same as paying utility bills, due to the application of the principle of software as a service (SaaS). The requirements of Information Technology resources are significantly lower in cloud EHRs because there is no need for the staff of the facility to hire specialists for installing, maintaining, securing, and updating the system. Instead, all operations can be managed by IT specialists working for SaaS providers.
In addition, it is important to note that despite the skepticism associated with security issues, web-based EHRs can provide the necessary level of safety. For instance, methods of high-level encryption provided by EHR systems are similar to those used by banks. Besides, as mentioned by the facility’s Chief Information Officer, Robert Walker, the Patient Data System will also use a web-based solution to ensure its flexibility and accessibility. Therefore, eTrail remains the best fit for Bright Road Health Care that will decrease nurses’ workload, provide better data integration, and become a basis for effective management of patient health records.