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The aim of this paper is to explore the importance of the appropriateness of quantitative research designs. It will also discuss the challenges in the implementation of electronic health records (EHR).
Quantitative Research Designs
At the time of substantial advances in healthcare, it is important for nurses and other healthcare practitioners to be able to critically assess quantitative research articles. An article by Piers et al. (2012) explores the issue of moral distress (MD) associated with end-of-life care and focuses on factors that prevent nurses from making a certain decision in the ethical course of action. A cross-sectional survey was used as a type of quantitative research design for the study, which helped to better understand situations causing MD. It can be argued that a longitudinal study design would help to better ascertain relationships between ethical dilemmas associated with end-of-life care and nurses’ burnout.
Another study conducted by Halpern et al. (2013) focuses on how advance directives influence patients’ choices related to end-of-life care. The researchers opted for a randomized controlled trial for their study, which is an appropriate choice of the research design since such experimental studies are high on the hierarchy of evidence. If Halpern and associates chose an inappropriate design for the study, the relevance of the evidence to their sample populations would be under question.
Selecting appropriate study design is essential in healthcare because every “health-related research project involving humans, their tissue and/or data must be reviewed and approved by a research ethics committee” (Hoe & Hoare, 2012, p. 54). The ramifications of choosing an inappropriate research design can be both important and far-reaching since its results can be used for developing alternative treatments or introducing other innovations concerning human lives. Therefore, when it comes to a research design, an inquirer has to carefully assess the appropriateness of whichever methods are used and all practical considerations associated with the decision.
The implementation of information systems in healthcare facilities is especially challenging due to the complexity of data, security concerns and variances in structures and processes between different hospitals. The most significant barrier to the implementation of HER systems is the cost of creating and maintaining IT infrastructures and applications. Government subsidies can help to eliminate this challenge to adoption. Another avenue of solving the problem of excessive costs is the use of external vendors who can provide inexpensive services. Healthcare benefits that will accrue over time will help to offset the costs of purchase and governance of EHR systems (Ajami & Bagheri-Tadi, 2013).
Another challenge that arises during the implementation of EHR systems is the absence of computer skills. According to Ajami and Bagheri-Tadi (2013), the skills necessary for listening to patients’ concerns, evaluating their medical relevance, contemplating on appropriate interventions, and typing skills are not always found in even the most experienced healthcare practitioners. In order to remove this barrier to the implementation of EHR systems, it is necessary to provide employees with basic training. Also, the designation of experienced EHR users for providing novice users with tips will help to overcome this challenge.
Security and privacy of EHR systems create another barrier to their implementation. It has to do with the fact that nonusers of such systems often put more trust in paper records than they do in electronic ones (Ajami & Bagheri-Tadi, 2013). Adequate and regular staff training in security and privacy protocols can become an effective strategy for addressing this challenge (Fernandez-Aleman, Carrion, Lozoya, & Toval, 2013). Access control and digital signature schemes are also known to reduce security and privacy concerns of healthcare professionals.
The paper has helped to better understand the importance of the appropriateness of quantitative research designs and the challenges in the implementation of EHR systems.
Ajami, S., & Bagheri-Tadi, T. (2013). Barriers for adopting electronic health records (EHRs) by physicians. ACTA Informatica Medica, 21(2), 129-134.
Fernandez-Aleman, J., Carrion, I., Lozoya, P., & Toval, A. (2013). Security and privacy in electronic health records: A systematic literature review. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 46(3), 541-562.
Halpern, S., Loewenstein, G., Volpp, K., Cooney, E., Vranas, K., Quill, C.,…Bryce, C. (2013). Default options in advance directives influence how patients set goals for end-of-life care. Health Affairs, 32(2), 1-10.
Hoe, J., & Hoare, Z. (2012). Understanding quantitative research: Part 1. Nursing Standards, 27(15), 52-57.
Piers, R., Dewitte, M., Steeman, E., Vlerick, P., Benoit, D., & Noortgate, V. (2012). End-of-life care of the geriatric patient and nurses’ moral distress. JAMDA, 12(1), 124-131.