At my workplace, the electronic health record (EHR) technology was introduced some time ago, and it appears to have a notable influence on the environment of advanced practice nurses at my correctional institution. EHRs are a type of information system that is rather widespread in the US nowadays (Westra et al., 2015). I have received mixed feedback on EHRs, but I find them rather convenient, and I am aware of the benefits that they are evidenced to have.
In particular, they are reported to reduce the incidence of medication errors, improve communication and collaboration, and facilitate the process of care (King, Patel, Jamoom & Furukawa, 2013). Being widespread and apparently beneficial, EHRs, along with other information systems, can indeed shape the advanced practice environment by providing nurses with the tools necessary for fulfilling their roles and duties, including the development of a safe environment for patients.
Indeed, information systems can improve patient safety. In particular, they can help to manage and decrease some of the risks (like medication errors), monitor groups at risks of specific developments, and provide the data that can foster research on the topic of patient safety (King et al., 2013; Westra et al., 2015). In other words, information systems can improve patient safety due to their certain aspects, including the ability to prevent, detect, and study risks.
When used correctly, the data provided by information systems, as well as their specific functions and features, can assist in the improvement of clinical outcomes, enhancement of patient safety, and even the reduction of costs (Westra et al., 2015). DNP-prepared Nurse leaders are among the people who can use information systems to the benefit of healthcare because their education equips them to do so. For example, there is a learning period required for the adoption of a new system, which is why initial outcomes can be deteriorating (King et al., 2013). Therefore, one of the key aspects in which a nurse leader can be helpful is the planning and management of the change related to the introduction of an information system.
King, J., Patel, V., Jamoom, E., & Furukawa, M. (2013). Clinical benefits of electronic health record use: National findings. Health Services Research, 49(1pt2), 392-404. Web.
Westra, B., Clancy, T., Sensmeier, J., Warren, J., Weaver, C., & Delaney, C. (2015). Nursing knowledge. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 39(4), 304-310. Web.