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Electronic Health Record and Patient Safety Essay

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Updated: Jun 21st, 2022

Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a system used by primary caregivers to track a patient’s hospital history. On the other hand, workarounds are unapproved temporary healthcare practices that do not conform to workflow regulation standards. Practically, EHR is integral in promoting quality healthcare through informed decision making. Despite EHR playing a significant role in providing safe and quality services to patients, clinicians still use workarounds leading to undesired healthcare outcomes.

In most hospital environments, clinicians handle different duties at a time, which makes them prone to losing or distorting vital information about their patients. Therefore, adopting an EHR is important because it helps them record all essential information needed for correct diagnosis and dosage. According to Melton (2017), EHR is pivotal in decision support and medication documentation. This implies that primary caregivers benefit from EHR through proper communication, consistent policy implementation, and sustaining a given cultural practice, which helps achieve patient safety.

One of the workaround that most colleagues use is getting medication to patients who need emergency attention. In most scenarios, healthcare providers use workaround when their work is interrupted by the set EHR policies that endanger a patient’s life. This could explain why most colleagues prefer bypassing EHR protocols. However, there is evidence that workarounds are mainly adopted by clinicians who are not conversant with the set EHR regulations (Blijleven et al., 2017). Some of the expected outcomes of workarounds are giving wrong dosage and misdiagnosis. According to Blijleven et al. (2017), though workarounds can help caregivers in emergencies such as getting medication quickly during an emergency, it harms the efficiency, effectiveness, and patient’s safety.

In all, EHR plays an integral role in achieving standardization and safety in the healthcare industry. Through electronic capture of every detail of a patient, it can be easy to make sustainable medical decisions. However, following EHR protocols is impossible in some situations, which forces primary caregivers to bypass it. Though in some scenarios it helps, it has predominantly produced undesired outcomes.

References

Blijleven, V., Koelemeijer, K., Wetzels, M., & Jaspers, M. (2017). Workarounds emerging from electronic health record system usage: Consequences for patient safety, effectiveness of care, and efficiency of care. JMIR human factors, 4(4), 1-27.

Melton, B. L. (2017). Systematic review of medical informatics–supported medication decision making. Biomedical Informatics, 9(2), 1-7

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IvyPanda. "Electronic Health Record and Patient Safety." June 21, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/electronic-health-record-and-patient-safety/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Electronic Health Record and Patient Safety." June 21, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/electronic-health-record-and-patient-safety/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Electronic Health Record and Patient Safety'. 21 June.

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