Electronic health records (EHR) is more and more being utilized in organizations offering healthcare to enhance the quality and safety of care. Understanding the advantages and disadvantaging of EHR is essential in the nursing profession as nurses would learn its strengths and weaknesses. This would help the nursing profession know how to deal with the weak areas of the system. The topic on advantages and disadvantages of EHR has been widely researched on with different researchers coming up with different opinions. Nurses ought to have knowledge on the advantages and disadvantages of EHR systems for them to use systems efficiently. This would transform the operations of health systems and benefit patients with quality service.
The advantage and disadvantage of Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records are designed for offering national access to selected information amassed from data found in medical records created by various providers irrespective of whether providers are in a similar healthcare system or in the event of patients of accident in a different healthcare facility (Devine, Hansen, Wilson-Norton, et al 2010). EHR is essential to nurses because it increases their efficiency hence undertake their mandate to offer care to patients effectively. Recently most of the sectors have made heavy investments in computerization of their services. The nursing practice is impacted significantly by the use EHR systems. There are both positive and negative impacts in the use of EHR systems. Some researchers have associated EHR with increased efficiency and high quality of care while others cite negative effects like high start of cost and confidentiality of health information. Understanding the advantages of EHR encourages nurses to make greater use of them, while understanding their disadvantages enables nurses to determine areas in which they ought to take caution when using them. Advantages of Electronic Health Records
EHR and organizational outcomes
These organizational outcomes of EHR are mostly comprised of increased revenue and cost containment, together with other less tangible benefits like enhanced regulatory and legal compliance, increased job satisfaction, and improved ability to undertake research. Various authors have made the assertion that EHRs help care givers in capturing patient charges accurately and at the right time (Devine, Hansen, Wilson-Norton, et al, 2010). Use of EHR ensures elimination of billing errors together with erroneous coding; this in turn increases the cash flow of the provider and enhancement of revenue. Appointment reminders by EHR to patients increases visits by these patients hence increasing revenue. Majority of averted costs linked to EHRs result from efficiencies which result from storing the information of patients electronically (Fleming, Culler, McCorkle, et al. 2011). These comprise of increased test utilization, reduction in resources of staff used in management of patients, reduction of cost of supplies required for maintenance of paper folders decrease in cost of transcription and costs linked to pulling of charts. Other less tangible benefits include that there is increased operational performance and compliance to legal and regulatory requirements is improved. Additionally, researchers who use EHR experience less malpractice claims. EHRs Clinical outcomes
The majority of clinical outcomes been focused relate to care quality and safety of patient. Care quality is defined as doing the appropriate action to the right person at the right time and in the appropriate manner and obtaining optimal results. Similarly safety of the patient is defined as avoiding injuries to patients from care aimed at helping them. Most of the research on EHR is focused on efficiency, effectiveness and patient safety. Weinger, (2010) made the assertion that computerized alerts directed at physicians enhanced the use of prophylactic care for patients hospitalized...
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