Nursing Informatics

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Nursing Informatics

NUT1 - 724.4.3-01-08
Increase in Quality of Care
Using computerized electronic medical records management systems will provide nurses and patients with increased quality of care. Because electronic medical records are quantifiable, data from existing and previous patients sharing the same medical condition and/or characteristics can be researched to determine the best care plan and outcomes for the patient, such as what methods of care were practiced, which medications worked, which therapies were most effective, etc. This enhances not only provides better quality of care to the patient, but also enhances evidence based practice (Thede & Sewell, 2010). Another benefit of using an electronic medical record management system is that all patient information is accessible from multiple locations, and by multiple members of the care team at the same time. Prior to availability of computerized records, patient data was only available in paper hard copy, typically kept in one paper chart, which made it impossible for each member of the care team to access needed data in a timely manner. Access to an overview of the patient’s current state prior to face to face meeting with the patient allows the practitioner more time to implement and treat and less time reviewing the case in the patient’s presence. With the ability to view electronic records prior to visits and assessment from each member of the health care team, more efficient planning and implementation of interventions for the patient are achievable, leading to quality care (Thede & Sewell, 2010). Active Nursing Involvement

Active nursing involvement in the planning, choice, and implementation of an electronic medical record system is key to its success within an organization. Nurses participate in initial testing and development of the system, and through that testing, can determine the system that best meets the needs of the nursing role and responsibilities. Nurses are professionals with experience and knowledge about the workflow and expectations of the nursing role and generally have a broad scope of practice within the nursing role, and the knowledge of how nurse workflow and expectations would translate into documentation and flow sheets. The involvement of nurses is critical in order to allow the most thorough and comprehensive development of the system and maximize its capabilities to meet the needs of each department. All areas of work must be addressed within the electronic medical record system, otherwise, the system fails, so it is in the best interest of the organization implementing the system, to involve and solicit ideas and solutions from the nursing staff in order to ensure comprehensive development of the system (McIntire & Clark, 2009). Handheld Devices

“Use of handheld devices with electronic patient diaries can improve the quality of patient-reported information collected in clinical and research settings.” (Hardwick, Pulido, & Adelson, 2007, p. 251) Handheld technology improves patient care by allowing the clinician the ability to efficiently capture patient data at the moment the information is given by the patient. This eliminates the need to take hand written notes, then transcribe the notes into a paper chart which could facilitate error, or inaccurate capture of the data. Having accurate data is vital to evidence based decision making (Hardwick et al., 2007) Not only do handheld devices improve the quality of the data captured, but they also lend to increased data capture, or increased documentation when compared with paper charting. This increase in documentation leads to more data on which to base clinical decisions. Handheld capabilities with EMRs improve documentation, reduce medical errors and improve decision support (Wu & Straus, 2006). Barcode scanning is a form of handheld technology used in conjunction with EMR systems. Use of barcode scanners with medications greatly reduces the number of...
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