The success of the healthcare sector depends on its ability to acquire and implement emerging technologies. Such systems have the potential to improve the quality of medical available to the targeted patients. When implemented and supported efficiently, any patient care technology will guide decision-making processes and solve emerging problems. The purpose of this paper is to present electronic health records (EHRs) as a superior technology that has the potential to influence patient’s experiences and empower more nurses to pursue their goals effectively.
The outstanding patient care technology in my practice environment is that of EHR. In every unit, a digital version of patient information is captured and recorded. This system is usually real-time and ensures that data is available to authorized professionals in a secure manner (Yanamadala, Morrison, Curtin, McDonald, & Hernandez-Boussard, 2016). Healthcare providers, clinicians, and nurses use the acquired information to make appropriate inferences, guide patients, and propose the best care delivery models.
The introduction of this EHR system has impacted on patient care delivery positively. The first benefit is that the system creates the best environment whereby caregivers can capture real-time data and avail it to different physicians. The second one is that operations have become streamlined, thereby improving the quality of care. The third advantage is that existing resources and tools can be matched with patients’ health demands (Yanamadala et al., 2016). For example, there is a time when the facility managed to offer personalized care to several patients simultaneously due to the power of this system.
However, there are certain drawbacks associated with this kind of technology. The first one is that any malfunction can make it impossible for practitioners to offer personalized services (Jansson & Forsberg, 2015). For example, there is a time when the existing network collapsed. This occurrence disoriented coordination and the guidelines intended for specific patients and health professionals. The second one is that the implementation process is quite expensive and time-consuming.
Data and Care Delivery
The current EHR system collects and generates quality data that can inform decision-making processes. The generated information include the patient’s medication and treatment plans, diagnoses, medical history, allergies, laboratory tests and results, radiology images, and appointment dates. The data describes specific variables, such as individual’s gender, age, and personal expectations. These attributes are merged with the generated information to guide clinicians throughout the process (Yanamadala et al., 2016). The data empowers health professionals to consult presented lab test result, past diagnoses, and earlier medication regimes.
After data is generated, those who have authorizations or passwords can view patients’ information from different access points. Each stage has specific limitations on what the user can access. This strategy maximizes safety and privacy throughout the care delivery process (Jansson & Forsberg, 2015). Clinicians can share the same information using various techniques depending on the intended objectives.
Any form of data or variable is crucial when medical professionals are making clinical decisions. For example, physicians can identify the history of a specific person and make evidence-based insights that can eventually inform the best care delivery ideas. Past diagnoses, allergies, and complications will have to be considered before settling on the most appropriate treatment regime (Spears, Francer, & Turner, 2015). These attributes explain why modern technologies are critical for transforming clinical experiences.
Data Communication and Security
In the selected facility, there are specific access points or computers in every unit and department. This arrangement is necessary since there are specific professionals who play significant roles throughout the care delivery process. For instance, the laboratory department collects samples from patients and eventually uploads the results on their profiles. Clinicians will access such information from the existing systems and make the relevant inferences (Jansson & Forsberg, 2015). Data managers are allowed to filter or upload information at specific stages. There is also a room for professionals to make the relevant adjustments and comments on patients’ profiles.
Departmental offices have greater privileges when accessing and editing data. This is also the same case for physicians who offer treatment and guidelines to nurses. Authorized users have passwords for accessing patient data. There is an overall systems manager who monitors the way different people access and use the recorded information (Jansson & Forsberg, 2015). These strategies have been put in place to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality.
Regulatory, Ethical, and Management Implications
Advanced technologies and systems require appropriate regulatory procedures to make them more beneficial. For this kind of technology, the facility has to consider existing guidelines that dictate the way data is collected, shared, and used to inform the best decisions. Its adoption means that users should be trained, certified, and technologically-savvy (Aluaş, 2016). Organizations should also be ready to promote patient privacy and security measures.
From an ethical perspective, EHR remains a divisive technology since there are no clear guidelines on what kind of information is accessible to whom and when (Aluaş, 2016). The use of this system can also increase the risk of unauthorized access and use of patient data.
Due to these challenges, medical institutions should create additional units for managing data and introducing the most appropriate controls. A change team is also necessary to plan and educate staff members about the system. This means that they will receive adequate and timely training, understand how to solve emerging challenges. Institutions’ managers should acquire the right hardware and software systems for communication, accessibility, and data storage (Aluaş, 2016). Systems managers will monitor the collected information, identify and mitigate risks, and improve the usability of the EHR technology continuously.
EHR and Evidence-Based Strategies
Evidence-based practices have become critical in the healthcare sector since they present new opportunities for transforming care delivery. The application of EHR in the identified practice environment ensures that high-quality data is collected in a timely manner (Aluaş, 2016). Such procedures will rely on the acquired data to inform superior decisions and solve emerging problems. There specific evidence-based strategies that are applicable to the studied patient care technology. For example, professionals can consider the concepts of team–based care delivery or multidisciplinary nursing to utilize the available information to improve care delivery.
Similarly, emerging ideas from evidence-based practices can inform additional changes in the manner in which this kind of technology is applied in different settings. For instance, the concepts of telemedicine can be linked with EHR to streamline the decisions many professionals make (Spears et al., 2015). More people will, therefore, receive high-quality services than ever before. Additionally, the acquired patient data can become a powerful tool for creating evidence-based practice changes. This is the case since the information can deliver a new model whereby patients’ medical histories are merged with current conditions to support the presentation of a superior care delivery model.
The above discussion has identified EHR as a powerful technology for transforming the quality of care and services available to different patients. Departmental leaders should address the legal and ethical issues associated with these systems and promote patient privacy. They can also merge the acquired information with emerging evidence-based practices to transform care delivery. The collected data can also inform future strategies that have the potential to improve the nature of the global healthcare sector.
Aluaş, M. (2016). Ethical and legal considerations of healthcare informatics. Applied Medical Informatics, 38(3-4), 91-98.
Jansson, I., & Forsberg, A. (2015). How do nurses and ward managers perceive that evidence-based sources are obtained to inform relevant nursing interventions? – An exploratory study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25, 769-776. Web.
Spears, J. M., Francer, J. K., & Turner, N. A. (2015). Embracing 21st century information sharing: Defining a new paradigm for the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of biopharmaceutical company communications with healthcare professionals (70 Food Drug L.J. 143). White Oak, MD: U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Yanamadala, S., Morrison, D., Curtin, C., McDonald, K., & Hernandez-Boussard, T. (2016). Electronic health records and quality of care: An observational study modeling impact on mortality, readmissions, and complications. Medicine, 95(19), e3332. Web.