Governmental agencies have been working hard to create a seamless process for medical facilities integrating electronic medical records (EMRs) into daily operations. While technical issues are likely to occur, having an educated hospital consultant on hand can help ensure that staff members are trained properly in the latest healthcare IT trends.
A Bloomberg Businessweek article highlighted several pros and cons of digital health records. The news source cited information from a Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority study, which found that the number of reports about medical errors associated with electronic records is growing. Specifically, of 3,099 incidents reported over an eight-year period, 1,142 were filed in 2011. That number is more than double the numbers from 2010.
"I would never go back to paper charts - clearly electronic records are better," Dr. Leora Horwitz, an assistant professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, told the news source. "But while they're good, they're so far from great it's astonishing."
Contrary to the first study, another report that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association explained that EMRs can eliminate common causes for medical errors, such as sloppy handwriting by doctors. Instead, physicians will receive pop-up alerts if there is a dangerous drug combination prescribed.
It is important for all staff members to feel comfortable as their facilities integrate new systems. This blog has previously discussed how nurses in one California hospital were nervous over a new computerized physician order entry system (CPOE). The workers cited a lack of training, and were concerned over patient safety.
With strong healthcare IT consulting services, medical organizations can rest assured that their workers feel confident in their ability to work with an EMR.