Computerized Management Systems
Increase in Quality of Care
Computerized management systems or electronic medical records can work to increase the quality of care in several ways. One way being that because medical record data is all computerized, there is a significant improvement in the legibility and translation of the health information therefore resulting in fewer errors and miscommunications. Other benefits to an electronic medical record is that it aids in increasing accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency overall. Computerizing medical records is a safer and more convenient way to store, review, track, and analyze data on any given patient versus paper charting. It also cuts down on loss, cost and clutter. Therefore, because of all of these associated benefits, the patient should receive more in personal, individualized, and an improved quality of care.
Active Nursing Involvement
Active nursing involvement in the choice, planning, and implementation of the computerized management systems is very important. Nurses are involved in the front line of patient care. They are a patient’s voice and advocate. Nurses are there to ensure that all the patient’s needs are met. They are a liaison between the patient and all other disciplines. They are also the ones that will, in all likelihood, be using the computerized medical record the most in regards to providing direct care to the patient. It is for these reasons, the nurse’s voice should be heard and recognized when it comes to implementing a computerized system in healthcare. Everything the nurse does, needs to be carried out and then documented in some form or fashion so by providing input on how and where this data will be integrated into the system will help ensure an easier and more successful transition to computerized medical records. Nursing also needs to be involved to provide feedback on how the system is affecting the quality of care, as they are the ones that are most likely to see these effects and so that changes can be made if deemed necessary.
Handheld devices or personal data assistants or PDA’s (Johnson, 2008) used by the nursing staff could be integrated into the management systems for better quality of care by providing nursing with easy and quick access to a wealth of medical information relevant to their situation and the care they are providing to a patient. The hand held devices can function not only as an organizer but can also act as a portal to access information and medical references in regards to medications, disease processes, protocols, and clinical research (Johnson, 2008 ). They can serve as educational tools for both the nurse and the patients. They can provide more accurate and up to date information that the nurse may otherwise not have the time or the ability to access otherwise. Utilization of the hand held devices can work to reduce errors, and increase accuracy and timeliness, as well as provide safer and better quality of care because of their ease of use and portability.
While there are many benefits to digitalizing medical records and personal information, there are obviously a few drawbacks as well. Because electronic medical records are more portable and easily accessible, the risk of potential security breaches in privacy and confidentiality increases. The information in one’s records can be accessed by many individuals and therefore become more susceptible to hackers and identity thieves. It is because of this, that high security standards must be set in place and carried out within a facility. HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ,has set forth both a “Security Rule” and a “ Privacy Rule” which works to provide rights and protections in regards to access and disclosures as well as in establishing “safeguards” to “assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information” (U.S. Department of Health and Human...
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