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The current wave of technological innovations exposed healthcare to the opportunities for change. Although many organizations currently employ electronic health records (EHRs) in their everyday activities, the usefulness of such programs varies from one product to another (“Health IT,” 2018). Thus, hospitals continue to search for better developers and companies that offer reliable and interoperable solutions with a wide range of helpful functions. Recently, a similar change was initiated in my workplace. The hospital at which I work decided to switch from the basic EHR to a more reliable program that included clinical decision support (CDS). Such a transition was not simple to perform, although all nurses and physicians were acquainted with a similar technology. This change had a significant impact on all healthcare professionals and required active participation from both managers and other employees. This assessment aims to analyze the reasons behind this change, its outcomes and discuss recommendations for the process’ possible improvements.
Reasons and Outcomes
It should be mentioned that the efficiency of EHRs continues to be the center of many debates in healthcare research. While the statistics show that the implementation of EHRs is almost ubiquitous, in actuality, these systems’ usability remains questionable for many professionals (“Health IT,” 2018; O’Brien, Weaver, Hook, & Ivory, 2015; Sousa, Reeder, Bondy, Ozkaynak, & Weiss, 2017). Some organizations find that their programs do not provide them with many benefits, as they lack qualities that may increase the meaningful use of data and support healthcare workers further. In the discussed situation, the hospital’s primary reason for a change in the system was encouraged by the administration’s desire to install a system that would last. The previous EHR, while assisting workers in digitizing data, was limited in capabilities, rendering the gathered information virtually useless aside from its usual functionality. Simply put, nurses were able to input patient information into the program but could not use it for predictions, suggestions, or comparisons (Keenan, 2014). Thus, a new initiative was suggested.
The process of implementation was similar to the hospital’s first introduction of EHR. Managers collaborated with the staff and financial officials to install the system, all personnel engaged with the new program were educated, and measurements for the success were chosen. After some time, the project was completed, and the hospital started operating with a new EHR. The change has affected some of my responsibilities because it required me to relearn the methods of information input and analysis. However, it also relieved some burdens because it included more information that could be used for patients’ treatment. The organization did not see a significant change in terms of financial gain, but the implementation was considered successful. Most of the staff was satisfied with the new program, and the limitations and problems caused by the older version were mitigated.
Overall, the process of the implementation could be considered successful. The collaboration of all workers allowed the transition to be smooth, and many barriers were not as hard to overcome as they were during the system’s first introduction. It is possible that the process was handled better than before because all healthcare professionals understood the benefits of electronic systems and did not oppose innovations (Barrett, 2017). However, some suggestions can still be discussed. For instance, the time frame for the implementation was rather small, giving managers a short period to design a training program. Therefore, some employees who did not have developed computer skills struggled to switch from one system to another. More time should have been allocated to learning.
The discussed change was initiated because the hospital wanted to have a system that could be used for a long time without losing its value. Thus, the chosen solution was implemented with the help of managers, nurses, and other workers. While the process was declared successful, some professionals still struggle with working in a new system because of their limited computer skills. The focus on education and a longer period for the implementation are the main suggestions that could be given to this organization.
Barrett, A. K. (2017). Electronic health record (EHR) organizational change: Explaining resistance through profession, organizational experience, and EHR communication quality. Health Communication, 33(4), 496-506.
Health IT quick stats. (2018). Web.
Keenan, G. M. (2014). Big data in health care: An urgent mandate to change nursing EHRs! Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 18(1). Web.
O’Brien, A., Weaver, C., Hook, M. L., & Ivory, C. H. (2015). EHR documentation: The hype and the hope for improving nursing satisfaction and quality outcomes. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 39(4), 333-339.
Sousa, K. H., Reeder, B., Bondy, J., Ozkaynak, M., & Weiss, J. (2017). The Colorado Collaborative for Nursing Research: Providing trended nurse-sensitive patient outcome data across entities. Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(6), 345-349.