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“Electronic Documentation and Nurse-Patient Interaction” by Gaudet Essay

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Updated: Sep 11th, 2021

Discussion

Health IT, including electronic health records (EHR), provides numerous benefits to medical professionals. According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (2013), EHR support clinical decision-making, thus contributing to patient safety. EHR is also used to facilitate communication among care providers and provide justification for billing (“Documentation,” n.d.). Nevertheless, there are some gaps in EHR that may affect the work of care providers. As mentioned by Wayne (2016), 90% of nurses believe that EHR damages nurse-patient communication. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO, 2017) also mentioned that EHR had a limited effect on provider communication because most providers were not using patient health information received from other clinics or hospitals.

Reflection

The article by Gaudet (2016) examines the relationship between electronic documentation and nurse-patient interactions in detail, highlighting some critical issues. For instance, the researcher states that nurses had to continually shift their attention from patients to the computer and back in order to log in all the data (Gaudet, 2016). The study also found that nurses had more tasks to complete because of EHR and that they were not always able to prioritize their patients (Gaudet, 2016). These results reflect my practice experiences because I also have similar issues with EHR. At first, I attempted to log in data electronically while talking to patients, but this took my attention away from patients. Because of this, I usually write noted on paper first and then transfer them into the system, which increases my workload.

Lessons and Solutions

Three main lessons learned are that it is essential to enhance the prioritization of tasks, address workflow interruptions, and engage nurses in EHR design planning. For example, using tablets to log in information could help nurses to focus on patients (Gaudet, 2016). Tasks in EHR systems should also be prioritized by importance, as this would allow nurses to postpone the completion of non-urgent tasks until the patient has left. Nurse engagement would help to identify issues at an early stage and address them promptly. To improve interactions while using EHR, nurses should focus on patients instead of trying to complete all tasks at once. They should also escalate any problems or concerns to the management in order to address the influence of EHR on the workflow. Both of these actions would help nurses to enhance nurse-patient communication while using EHR and other Health IT.

References

American Society of Clinical Oncology. (2017). Policy issue brief: Interoperability of electronic health records. Web.

[Video file]. (n.d.). Web.

Gaudet, C. A. (2016). Electronic documentation and nurse-patient interaction. Advances in Nursing Science, 39(1), 3-14.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (2013). Web.

Wayne, T. (2016). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. ""Electronic Documentation and Nurse-Patient Interaction" by Gaudet." September 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/electronic-documentation-and-nurse-patient-interaction-by-gaudet/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '"Electronic Documentation and Nurse-Patient Interaction" by Gaudet'. 11 September.

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