The Purpose of the Program
The purpose of the program is to increase the skill of computer operation among the nursing staff at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. While the computer operation level of younger nurses is often sufficient, more veteran nurses have experienced a certain level of difficulty when transitioning to the new, electronic system of patient records. Therefore, a training program should be organized to address this issue.
The Target Population
The target population for this program is primarily experienced nurses that are having difficulties in adapting to the new system of patient records. The secondary is new nurses, unfamiliar with the electronic record-keeping system utilized by the hospital. Both groups are expected to have a similar level of knowledge on the topic and are likely to benefit from such a program. Research shows that it is common for these target groups to experience difficulties in computer operation when a new system is implemented (Sarver, Cichra, & Kline, 2015). Due to the proprietary nature of the hospital software, previously attained skills can become irrelevant in the new environment. However, these issues can be resolved through training.
The Benefits of the Program
A training program designed to improve the level of computer operation among nurses can lead to a number of benefits to the workflow of the hospital. The primary benefit lies in the increased efficiency of registration and recordkeeping as the nurses begin to be more competent in the use of the electronic patient record system. Studies on the topic show that when the majority of difficulties are resolved in this area, patients begin to be processed much faster, resulting in lower wait times and a higher level of satisfaction from patients and hospital workers alike (Kipturgo, Kivuti-Bitok, Karani, & Muiva, 2014). The use of electronic patient records prevents situations where old records can take a long time to be found due to the need to search through a complex archive of physical records.
The second benefit of the training program is the decrease in errors made by the staff. While it is impossible to guarantee that errors will never be encountered with trained staff, the studies show that the number of errors is likely to diminish. This consequence should provide the following positive outcomes. Less time will be spent on correcting the previously made mistakes. At the same time, it will prevent cases where an error in the medical records causes distress to the patient (Narayanasamy & Penney, 2014). Both of these issues can lead to a loss of productivity and reputation of the hospital.
Lastly, the last benefit of nurses receiving training is the improvement of their morale during work hours. Nursing is an incredibly stressful job that can lead to a significant loss of morale. The loss of employee morale is likely to cause a loss of productivity and work quality (McIntosh & Sheppy, 2013). With the introduction of electronic patient records, nurses that have not yet adapted to the system are likely to experience additional anxiety and stress from the fear of making errors. The training program should address those issues by almost completely removing the possibility of making errors.
The cost of such training programs varies between providers and depends on the number of participants. There are also multiple ways of organizing the training program that may differ in price. The first is to contact an educational institution such as a college or university that has an electronics health records program. In this case, nurses would have the option of studying online or at the facility with a qualified professional educator. This option is preferred because it is likely to cover all of the topics required for quality operation. The average price for such a course is $1,500 per person (Peck, 2013), and it would last for four months.
The second option is to provide in-house training with the help of competent users of the system. While the level of knowledge and educational potential of the in-house option is not guaranteed to be high, it would have its own benefits. The people teaching the training courses would be already familiar with the system that needs to be explained. Also, the education itself could be cheaper as the majority of the cost would go to trainers for their time and efforts. This type of training would have to be done in person, however, which removes a layer of comfort that was present in the previous scenario. The price for the training services would have to be negotiated with the potential trainers but should not exceed the price of the first option.
The Basis for Evaluation
The results of the program will be evaluated by comparing the speed and quality of electronic patient record use before and after the training. The data from two months before the implementation and two months after the completion of training will be compared to evaluate the success of the program.
The presented executive summary was overviewed by a colleague in a formal leadership position of staff manager in the Jackson Memorial Hospital. They were responsible for the organization of similar programs at the hospital, making them have an informed opinion on these matters.
The person was asked about the possible approval of this proposal if it was proposed formally. The answer was mostly positive. The manager agreed that this is an issue that needs to be addressed and that the response to it could bring a lot of benefits to the hospital as a whole. The following strengths and weaknesses of the proposal were outlined. The first strength of the proposal was in the citations to studies that confirm the positive results of similar programs.
While it may be difficult to convince management to provide appropriate funding in cases like these, a solid base of evidence can change the overall impression of the proposal. The second strength was in the relatively simple method of evaluation, as it would otherwise be difficult to tell whether the program had any positive effect on the staff. Lastly, the proposal was praised for considering the psychological effects on the nurses that anxiety and stress can cause.
However, one significant weakness of the proposal was the approach to the funding itself. The number of nurses that require additional training is not yet finalized, which makes precise calculations almost impossible. It was suggested that a full list of possible participants would need to be assembled before considering the costs of education. If the number is relatively low, the hospital would be willing to pay for more expensive courses which could provide better results. The in-house training option was also considered if the group is too large to be sent to an official institution. In fact, similar ideas were proposed in the management circles of the hospital.
Kipturgo, M., Kivuti-Bitok, L., Karani, A., & Muiva, M. (2014). Attitudes of nursing staff towards computerisation: A case of two hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 14(1), 1-8.
McIntosh, B., & Sheppy, B. (2013). Effects of stress on nursing integrity. Nursing Standard, 27(25), 35-39.
Narayanasamy, A., & Penney, V. (2014). Coaching to promote professional development in nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 23(11), 568-573.
Peck, A. (2013). EHR implementation: Training pays dividends. Medical Economics. Web.
Sarver, W., Cichra, N., & Kline, M. (2015). Perceived benefits, motivators, and barriers to advancing nurse education: Removing barriers to improve success. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(3), 153-156.