In recent years, nursing practice has been notably impacted by the development of computer technology. As a result the practice of nursing informatics has increased drastically. One of the most notable technologies to develop in this area has been the electronic medical records (ERM) system. The overall benefits and utility that can be garnered through the use of the ERM system has made it a focus for national healthcare development. Despite the benefits of this technology, scholars have noted some daunting drawbacks. This investigation reviews the benefits and drawbacks of ERM systems. Further, it considers the application of these systems to nursing practice and how nurses can facilitate successful development and implementation of electronic medical record systems.
[...] In addition to helping with the planning and design on the EMR system, the nursing professional can also help with implementation of the system. Specifically, nursing professionals can collect data on how patient information is used in the organization. Using this information, recommendations for protecting patient privacy and maintaining confidentiality can be addressed. In particular, the nursing professional will be able to recommend the specific security measures that can be used to protect patient information. Further, the professional may also be able to make pertinent recommendations about where computers should be located in the organization and who should have access to what information. [...]
[...] Conclusion Arguably, the development and implementation of an electronic medical records system carries with it a host of benefits for the organization. Increased efficiency, the ability to reduce medical errors and the provision of quality healthcare are all viewed as positive outcomes for both healthcare professionals and organizations. Despite these benefits however, it is evident that there are a number of problems that can impede the overall efficiency and integrity of the EMR system. Costs and security issues are two significant challenges that loom pervasively over the development of these systems in healthcare organizations. [...]
[...] Newbold (2005) in her examination of the definition of nursing informatics reports that, “nursing informatics is a combination of computer science, information science and nursing science designed to assist in the management and processing of nursing data, information and knowledge to support the practice of nursing and the delivery of nursing care” (Nursing informatics Newbold goes on to argue that as more healthcare organizations begin to understand and define nursing practice, the development and implementation of nursing informatics systems will increase dramatically. [...]
[...] Electronic Medical Records Systems With a basic overview of nursing informatics elucidated, it is now possible to examine the specific context of electronic medical records (EMR) systems and their role in the healthcare organization. Critically reviewing what has been written about the definition of EMR systems it is evident that the title “electronic medical records” is generally self-defining. EMR requires physicians to use a computer database to store information, rather than keeping records on paper in files. By keeping medical records in electronic form, physicians and healthcare organizations can reduce the paperwork associated with medical care and provide greater access of patient records to healthcare professionals. [...]
[...] Although the use of electronic medical records systems appears to have a number of benefits for improving the quality of patient care that can be provided, researchers examining this technology have noted that many physicians and healthcare organizations have failed to implement this technology (Lamont, 2005). Currently fewer than 1 in 5 physicians use EMR systems to maintain patient records. Further, less than 10 percent of all hospitals in the US employ this technology (Lamont, 2005). Given the notable benefits that can be achieved by using this technology in the organization, it is pertinent to consider the specific reasons as to why so many healthcare professionals and organizations have not adopted this technology. [...]
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