Electronic health records (EHRs) are at the center stage of the effort to improve health care quality and control costs. In addition to allowing medical practitioners to access and record clinical documentation at much faster rates, EHRs are also positively influencing care delivery and nurse-patient interaction. Yet despite the potential benefits of EHRs, their implementation can be a formidable task that has broad-reaching implications for an entire health care organization.
In this Discussion, you appraise strategies for obtaining the benefits and overcoming the challenges of implementing and using electronic health records.
Review the implementation of EHRs in an organization. Reflect on the various approaches used.
If applicable, consider your own experiences with implementing EHRs. What were some positive aspects of the implementation? What suggestions would you make to improve the process?
Reflect on the reactions of others during the implementation process. Were concerns handled effectively?
If you have not had any experiences with an EHR implementation, talk to someone who has and get his or her feedback on the experience.
Search and indicate examples of effective and poor implementation of EHRs.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Chapter 15, “The Electronic Health Record and Clinical Informatics”
This chapter describes the crucial parts of an electronic health record system and explores the benefits of implementing one.
Bates, D. W. (2010). Getting in step: Electronic health records and their role in care coordination. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25(3), 174–176.
The author of this editorial critically analyzes current applications of electronic health records (EHRs) and their impact on cost, quality, and safety of health care delivery. The author describes a study on the use of vendor-developed EHRs in clinical practice settings, the results of which pinpointed the benefits and drawbacks of EHRs.
Cresswell, K., & Sheikh, A. (2009). The NHS Care Record Service: Recommendations from the literature on successful implementation and adoption. Informatics in Primary Care, 17(3), 153–160.
This article defines the United Kingdom’s National Health Service’s Care Record Service (NHS CRS) as a standard electronic health record system. The article describes the challenges associated with implementing this new information technology and provides recommendations for overcoming those challenges.
Fickenscher, K., & Bakerman, M. (2011). Change management in health care IT. Physician Executive, 37(2), 64–67.
This article offers strategies for health care leaders to successfully implement change programs in their organizations, especially with regard to the new standards for electronic health records (EHRs). The article provides insights on change management, the reasons people resist change, and the ways to establish a culture that is more open to change initiatives.
Gruber, N., Darragh, J., Puccia, P. H., Kadric, D. S., & Bruce, S. (2010). Embracing change to improve performance. Long-Term Living: For the Continuing Care Professional, 59(1), 28–31.
This text describes the implementation of a new electronic health record system at a 105-bed hospital related-facility. The authors highlight five key elements that were deemed necessary for a successful EHR implementation.
Hyrkäs, K., & Harvey, K. (2010). Leading innovation and change. Journal of Nursing Management, 18(1), 1–3.
According to the authors, the health care field is in need of more effective leaders who understand innovation, who appreciate diversity and change, and who can foster and implement innovation and creativity. The authors describe how nurse leaders can be instrumental in embracing and disseminating innovation throughout the health care system and provide scaffolding for subsequent articles in this issue of the journal.
Mooney, B. L., & Boyle, A. M. (2011). 10 steps to successful EHR implementation. Medical Economics, 88(9), S4–6, S8–S11.
The authors of this article describe the incentives and requirements for electronic health records (EHRs) outlined in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The authors then provide 10 steps for health care leaders and organizations to follow when implementing EHRs.
Murphy, J. (2011). Leading from the future: Leadership makes a difference during electronic health record implementation. Frontiers of Health Services Management, 28(1), 25–30.
In this article, the author examines the causes behind the increasing complication of EHR implementations. In addition, the author explores the role of leadership in guiding successful EHR implementations.