Case for electronic health records (part 3)

Although EHRs have the potential to enhance healthcare outcomes, various drawbacks may affect their effectiveness. For instance, the systems required for effective operations require substantial initial capital investment. Such would include the cost of physical infrastructure, training of staff for use of the systems and disruption of workflow (Busis, 2010). Other expenses would include those for supporting and maintaining the system. Additionally, EHRs lack adequate regulation and may result into malpractices occasioned by questionable agreements between suppliers and end users (Busis, 2010). Such records may also increase the risk to unauthorized access of patient information thus presenting security and confidentiality challenges (Suominen, Lehtikunnas, Back, Karsten, Salakoski & Salantera, 2007).

Impacts of adoption of EHRs may be demonstrated by a case study of small family medicine residency clinic located in Madison, Wisconsin (Carayon et al., 2009). In this case study which involved interviews with staff, benefits noted following implementation of EHRs included decreased role ambiguity of staff, enhanced job satisfaction and high-performance. EHRs were however perceived to have reduced employees control over resources and also increased their workload. The case also reinforces the need for training in ensuring the success of EHRs implementation.

References

Busis, N. A. (2010). How can I choose the best electronic health record system for my practice? Neurology, 75, S60 S63, doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181fc9888

Carayon, P., Smith, P., Hundt, A. S, Kuruchittham, V. & Li, Q. (2009). Implementation of an electronic health records system in a small clinic: the viewpoint of clinic staff. Behaviour & Information Technology, 28(1), 5-20, doi: 10.1080/01449290701628178

Chaudhry, B, Wang, J., Wu, S., Maglione, M., Mojica, W., Roth, E., … Shekelle, P. G. (2006). Systematic review: Impact of health information technology on quality, efficiency, and costs of medical care. Annals of Internal Medicine, 144, 742-752. Retrieved July 22, 2011, from http://www.annals.org/content/144/10/742.full.pdf

Effken, J. A. & Carrington, J. (2011). Communication and the electronic health record: Challenges to achieving the meaningful use standard. Online Journal of Nursiing Informatics, 15(2). Retrieved from http://ojni.org/issues/?p=555

Graetz, I., Reed, M. Rundall, T., Bellows, J., Brand, R. & Hsu, J. (2009). Care coordination and electronic health records: connecting clinicians. AMIA 2009 Symposium Proceedings, 208-212, retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815429/pdf/amia-f2009-208.pdf

Haggerty, J. L., Reid, R. J., Freeman, G. K., Starfield, B. H., Adair, C. E. & Mckendry, R. (2003). Continuity of care: a multidisciplinary review. British Medical Journal, 327, 1219-1221.

Suominen, H., Lehtikunnas, T. Back, B., Karsten, H., Salakoski, T. & Salantera, S. (2007). Applying language technology to nursing documents: Pros and cons with a focus on ethics. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 76S, S293-S301. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2007.05.006

Thompson, T. G. & Brailer, D. J. (2004). The decade of health information technology: delivering consumer-centric and information-rich health care. Framework for Strategic Action Retrieved July 22, 2011 from http://www.providersedge.com/ehdocs/ehr_articles/The_Decade_of_HIT-Delivering_Customer-centric_and_Info-rich_HC.pdf

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