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Electronic Health Records in a Small Hospital Essay

The success or failure of the adoption of EHR in a small hospital largely depends on whether the staff will accept the technology and ensure its meaningful use. That is why it is highly important to prepare nurses for the upcoming implementation at the meeting. It has been proven by experience that the process of change is usually unpredictable and fluid; this implies that a nurse facilitator has to be flexible and sensitive to resistance since the success will largely depend on the commitment and involvement of the team (Murdoch & Detsky, 2013). The whole personnel should collaborate, share information, technical skills, and knowledge, and support each other during the transition to new technology. To achieve this, the meeting will be organized according to Everett Rogers’ theory:

  1. Relative advantage: The idea is that the rate of adoption will directly depend on the perceived value of the innovation, which is far more important than an objective advantage (Charles, Gabriel, & Furukawa, 2013). This means that my task is to convince nurses that the introduction of EHR will bring about considerable benefits. The most important thing is to answer what this innovation will mean for each of them personally. I will speculate on safer patient care (and therefore reduced stress levels), improved communication (less time spent on the coordination of efforts), and professional growth due to the acquisition of new skills.
  2. Compatibility: As a facilitator, I must not only understand how EHR will align with the existing practices but also if nurses perceive innovation as consistent with their own personal and professional values and needs. It is difficult to overcome change resistance. The staff must be aware of all its features and be absolutely certain that it is installed and maintained in a proper way so that it could satisfy their working needs. The idea is to communicate personal profits and values that can be obtained (Adler-Milstein, Everson, & Lee, 2014).
  3. Simplicity: After the meeting, each nurse must realize that it would not be difficult for him/her to use EHR. My task is to eliminate the illusion of the perceived difficulty that causes change resistance. It is also important to show that all staff members have the necessary abilities and skills that would make it easier for them to learn how to use the new technology (Murdoch & Detsky, 2013). It is true that EHR is a highly complex system: Its implementation requires a lot of training, diligence, and close attention. However, it all starts with self-confidence.
  4. Trialability: At the meeting, nurses must have a chance to try EHR on a limited basis, which is rather challenging for a small hospital. However, they will be able to work with some smaller sections of the program to see the way it operates as well as the advantages it provides. Moreover, such an experience will be useful from the psychological point of view as it is likely to decrease the perceived complexity of the entire program (Adler-Milstein et al., 2014).
  5. Observability: The staff will want to see how the introduction of EHR can help improve the quality of care. Since the technology has not yet been introduced in our hospital and we cannot use other departments’ experience as a good example, we will address examples of other hospitals (including those in foreign countries) that have already adopted the technology.

Even with all these arguments in mind, I suppose that there will be a lot of resistance that I will have to face, which is mainly caused by the fear of failure. The staff should be convinced that EHR will not hinder their work–on the contrary, it will increase their understanding of record making, treatment decisions, and health challenges (Adler‐Milstein, Everson, & Lee, 2015). Furthermore, I believe that a system of non-financial and financial bonuses can be introduced for the successful implementation of EHR, which could increase the adoption rate.

As has already been mentioned, the role of nurses as change agents in facilitating the adoption of new technology is hard to overestimate. They guarantee the meaningful use of any innovation. It implies that their ultimate goal is to improve the process of storing, organizing, and sharing data about patients with other stakeholders involved (Murdoch & Detsky, 2013). Basically, the role of nurses in technology adoption can be summarized as follows (Rojas & Seckman, 2014):

  • During the initial stages of implementation, a nurse must guarantee quality and patient safety while maintaining the efficiency of care.
  • A nurse must eliminate existing disparities concerning the technology and make sure that all the staff uses it correctly.
  • A nurse must foster teamwork and help other members of the personnel acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to reduce the number of operational errors.
  • A nurse is supposed to do research on the topic and find evidence supporting his/her actions in relation to the new technology.
  • A nurse should be able to organize and systematize his/her knowledge about the innovation and disseminate findings among other stakeholders.
  • The adoption of the new technology will also run more smoothly if all nurses could explain to patients that EHR allows enhancing the security of personal data and achieving better treatment outcomes.


Adler-Milstein, J., Everson, J., & Lee, S. Y. D. (2014). Sequencing of EHR adoption among US hospitals and the impact of meaningful use. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 21(6), 984-991.

Adler‐Milstein, J., Everson, J., & Lee, S. Y. D. (2015). EHR adoption and hospital performance: Time‐related effects. Health Services Research, 50(6), 1751-1771.

Charles, D., Gabriel, M., & Furukawa, M. F. (2013). Adoption of electronic health record systems among US non-federal acute care hospitals: 2008–2013. ONC data brief, 9(2), 1-9.

Murdoch, T. B., & Detsky, A. S. (2013). The inevitable application of big data to health care. Jama, 309(13), 1351-1352.

Rojas, C. L., & Seckman, C. A. (2014). The informatics nurse specialist role in electronic health record usability evaluation. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 32(5), 214-220.

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