Western Governors University
NUT1 Task 2
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are becoming more widely used across the healthcare spectrum. One of the reasons for their popularity is the potential that is presented for increasing the quality of care delivered to patients by decreasing handwriting interpretation errors, reducing medication administration errors and eliminating lost charts. Time management is a crucial skill to have as a nurse. It allows for a smooth workflow which translates into quality patient care. Much time can be wasted not only by the nurse signing off illegible handwritten orders, but also by the other nurses that have to help interpret the handwriting. The EMR requires the physician to enter orders electronically, thereby eliminating handwritten orders. Electronic orders are more precise and more accurately followed (Sokol, 2006). Fewer errors make it to the patient, reducing unnecessary tests and increasing the quality of care that patients are receiving. Electronic medication administration records (MAR) are useful in displaying medications due at specific times. Not only is it possible to sort the medications due at one time, the MAR will also alert the nurse to potential drug interactions. Late medications will be displayed in red to be easily seen. If bar coding is implemented, medication errors can be reduced by a range of 60%-97% (Hunter, 2011). A lost chart can be very frustrating while trying to deliver seamless care to a patient. Paper charts are easily misplaced. Since there is only one, if a single provider is using it, no one else of the medical team can view the chart. The EMR can be viewed from any computer with secure internet access or on a handheld device. When the internet is down, a downtime view only access is available. Nursing Involvement
Nurses are known as patient advocates. In advocating for their patients, nurses strive for what is best in their patient’s care. Since nurses will be using the EMR most frequently, it is imperative that they are part of the selection and implementation on an EMR. A nurse, on the EMR team, will represent all nursing. Nurses will be accessing the EMR through their shift several times and will become familiar with the layout and workflow and will be able to provide insight into what would work best to ensure quality of care. There is a saying that you don’t know what you don’t know. A nurse knows what she will need and is the best to supply this information. While researching which EMR would be the best for a facility, a nurse can provide information on time saving workflows between systems. Nurses must also be trained as super users to provide a seamless change from paper charting to electronic charting and provide support to fellow nursing staff. A nurse on the EMR team will be able to deliver new information in a way that other nurses are more receptive to. Handheld Devices
If nurses were to use handheld devices in delivery of patient care, there would be a noticeable savings of time as well as more accurate charting. Nursing personnel carrying a handheld device would have immediate access to their patients chart to notice new orders, lab results, or medication admission records. The need to review the paper chart repeatedly throughout the day would be eliminated along with the long search that commences every time you have to look for the paper chart. This could add several minutes to a nurse’s time at the bedside, improving patient satisfaction.
When vital signs are taken, written on a slip of paper and then transcribed into the paper chart, there are many opportunities for error and delay. Numbers can be transposed, written incorrectly or the wrong patient’s information could go into a chart. With the immediate availability of a handheld device, the information from the vital signs monitor would have the ability to interface into the patient’s chart virtually eliminating late charting and errors....
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