Discussion: Healthcare Information Technology Trends
By Day 3 of Week 6
Post a brief description of general healthcare technology trends, particularly related to data/information you have observed in use in your healthcare organization or nursing practice. Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described. Then, describe at least one potential benefit and one potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies you described. Next, explain which healthcare technology trends you believe are most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice and explain why. Describe whether this promise will contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, or data management. Be specific and provide examples.
The healthcare organization that I currently work in has multiple health care technology trends. First, about two years ago, we switched to the EPIC documentation system. This was huge because it allowed for easier access to patient information to multiple physicians as well as providing continuity of care. There is also a patient portal. It shows real time regarding visits, hospital stays, lab results and billing online. If a patient is admitted and logs into their portal, it will show the results of what lab work was completed that day and even who their provider and nurse are. Recently, there is a text chat that was added that the nurse can tag the provider in under the patient he/she is trying to contact him about, that way it goes directly to the physician and not missed through a call system or delay in the patient’s care.
These health care technology trends are great when everything works as planned. Unfortunately, there are some challenges that occur. The EPIC documentation system is great, but there are way too many flowsheets and places to document that not everyone carrying for the patient can access or know where to look for pertinent information. It can become quite frustrating. The portal is handy, but it can cause more problems when a patient is extremely anxious or unhappy with their caregiver and being able to pull up the provider or nurse’s etc. first and last name can sometimes result in a safety concern. The text chat is convenient and easy to use. Some of the providers do not like it because they say they only have access to it from a computer and if he/she is not sitting down they will not see the message. Also, physicians that are not in house may not receive the message right away or at all and the call system needs to be used anyways (Skiba, 2017).
A benefit to patient safety, legislation, and patient care is having access to patient data across the boarder of multiple facilities and physicians as well as providing prompt treatment for the patient. A potential risk to patient safety, legislation, and patient care is violation of HIPPA due to patient information being too readily accessible and the change of losing internet connection or experiencing glitches while trying to provide patient care (Laurette Education, 2018).
There are technology trends that are promising for impacting healthcare technology and nursing practice. The Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) is great for accessing and providing patient care. I believe moving forward in achieving patient outcomes, there needs to be some narrowing of flowsheets. There are too many places to document. It almost feels like when you document on a patient, it goes into the computer, but ends up being a scavenger hunt on where to find it. A patient being able to access their health care information at the bedside is great, but providers last names and nurses first names should only be accessible for safety reasons. Another trend that is promising for healthcare is the many health care data apps. There are some that help monitor vital signs, health, and weight management as well as diet. The organization that I work for can link in the health fitness tracker with their wellness program to be able to provide a discount on one’s health insurance. I feel these trends as well as many others will continue to positively impact healthcare technology and nursing practice, they just need to be kept simple and straight forward (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017).
Laurette Education (Producer). (2018). Electronic Records and Managing IT Change [Video
file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
McGonigle, D. & Mastrian, K.G. (2017). Nursing Informatics and the foundation of knowledge
(4th ed). Chapter 14, “The Electronic Health Record and Clinical Informatics” (pp 267-
287). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Skiba. (2017). Evaluation tools to appraise social media and more applications. Informatics,
By Day 6 of Week 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, offering additional/alternative ideas regarding opportunities and risks related to the observations shared.
EPIC, it’s as if they are out to create brand awareness. When you stop and think about it, Mckesson completely pulled out of the EMR business and the use of other names like Meditek and Cerner are mostly used as a reference to how long one has been a nurse. Ani et al., (2020) confirms that EPIC is the most commonly used vendor in the health care field; but their study had a limitation of comparative data between EHR vendors, so they were unable to confirm this as the most advantageous EHR. The article went on to state, “There are several challenges to implementing EHR systems. These include interoperability of information technology systems, system installation and staff training, opportunities for patient access, consequences for the Doctor-Patient relationship, and data security and privacy” (Ani et al., 2020). Your post and the article cited seem to confirm that the grass is not always greener. My concern lies within my opening reply, which alludes to a narrowing of choices amongst EHR vendors. The first lesson in economics is that competition is good. You can’t have a championship matchup with only one team.
In all fairness, we should assess the positives of EHRs. Dykes et al., (2017) did a study analyzed the improved outcomes of patient engagement with the use of EHR. By utilizing potential aspects of an EHR, a model of communication between medical team along with a program to incorporate patient and family encounters resulted in higher patient satisfaction and a decrease in adverse events. Through the use PROSPECT (Patient Engagement Communication and Technology), this software program was incorporated into the EHR to enhance interactions with patients. The intent was improved communication. This resulted in rounds that focused on specific patient concerns, continually updated the care plan, and constantly reviewed safety components. Overall, the study resulted in an increase of patient satisfaction. A comforting fact is that EHRs are a constant evolution, so the role the nurse informatics specialist is crucial.
Ani, M. A., Garas, G., Hollingshead, J., Cheetham, D., Athanasiou, T., & Patel, V. (2020). Which electronic health record system should we use? – a systematic review. medRxiv. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.11.20210930v1.full.
Dykes, P. C., Rozenblum, R., Dalal, A., Massaro, A., Chang, F., Clements, M., Collins, S. Bates, D. W. (2017). Prospective evaluation of a multifaceted intervention to improve outcomes in intensive care: The Promoting Respect and Ongoing Safety Through Patient Engagement Communication and Technology Study. Critical Care Medicine, 45(8), e806–e813. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000002449