EHRsReducing Medical Errors
EHRsReducing Medical Errors
Thereputation of the health sector has been tarnished by numerousfactors, with the most significant being the occurrence of errorswhile attending to patients. It is likely to leave the patients’life changing effects or in worse circumstances may result in death.This paper intends to focus on three articles related to EHRs andsummarize their findings.
Thefirst article composed by Milt Freudenheim (2012) concentrates on themerits and demerits of using the EHRs. According to the article,despite the continued adoption of EHRs, there are daunting challengesthat have proved elusive. There have been cases of mix-ups that havebeen regarded to be risky and costly. EHRs have been blamed for beingtime-consuming as noted by some doctors who noted that the number ofpatients they were able to see following the introduction of thissystem was reduced by half. Additional criticism has emanated fromthe ease of making fraudulent billings. Crashes at times are typicalof these systems. Despite these demerits, certain benefits arederived from using EHRs. The quality of care and safety of patientshas been improved, in addition to being convenient and leading tobetter treatment outcomes.
Thesecond article for consideration has been written by Sheridan,Williams, Wyatt, Krauskopf, Gardner, Jones, and Design (2012), whichfocuses on the enactment and sustainability of EHRs with the purposeof improving on health disparities in the population. This articleconsiders four objectives to be vital in the implementation of EHRs.The first being reduction of health disparities through improvingefficiency, safety, and quality. Secondly, the care for patients mustbe an all-inclusive affair that involves the patients together withtheir families. The third aspect is the improvement of carecoordination. Finally, health information has to be secured and theprivacy of patients respected. The article demands that allstakeholders have to be involved in the sustainability of electronicmedical records. It includes the cooperation between nurses andphysicians to ensure that medical errors are reduced or eliminated.
Thethird article has been compiled by Bernstein, Frohlich, and Karl(2014) and focuses on the impact of EHRs on medical practice. Theynote that the use of electronic health records has the possibility ofleading to new errors or complicating the present errors. Thepotential errors addressed in the article include the wrong usage oftemplates and features such as copy and paste. Clinicians are alsolikely to undergo alert fatigue due to continued usage of the EHRs.There are also matching problems when dealing with patient details,and finally, the user interface may be poorly constructed leading tomisinterpretations. There is also the possibility of legalimplications for the providers due to the propagation of errors bythe EHRs. Providers have the mandate to reduce the risk during thetransition period. There is no clarity on whether liability andmalpractice claims can be increased or decreased by the use ofelectronic health records.
Asnoted in the article by Freudenheim (2012), there is no doubt thatEHRs have both advantages and disadvantages. However, it is the dutyof service providers to ensure that monitoring systems have been putin place to ensure the risks are minimized, and the benefits of EHRsare fully achieved. Sheridan etal.,(2012) addressed the issue of sustainability with many of thesesystems being funded by the government and non-profit organizationsthere is a risk of the continued adoption of these systems given thatgrants have a certain period upon which they elapse. One of the mostsignificant elements of sustainability depends on the willingness ofphysicians to cater for the costs themselves. It is important toaddress the legal clinical and financial requirements of physiciansif the viability of EHRs is to be improved. Physicians must beinformed of the legal consequences attached to the use of electronichealth records as was noted by Bernstein etal.(2014).
Inconclusion, despite the negative elements connected to EHRs, there isno doubt about the significant improvements they have contributed tothe health sector and improving patient outcomes. Better incentivesneed to be put in place to ensure that physicians adopt these systemsfor the betterment of the health system.
Bernstein,W.S., Frohlich,J.P.B., and Karl,A.O. (2014, July 22). EHRimpact on medical practice: reducing errors, addressing safety andunderstanding risks. Lexology.Retrieved fromhttp://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1fe39e9b-300d-4029-9258-be534b24108f
Freudenheim,M. (2012, October 8). TheUps and Downs of Electronic Medical Records. TheNew York Times.Retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/the-ups-and-downs-of-electronic-medical-records-the-digital-doctor.html
Sheridan,S., Williams, S. G., Wyatt, T. H., Krauskopf, P. B., Gardner, C. L.,Jones, S. J., & Design, H. (2012). The implementation andsustainability of electronic health records. OnlineJournal of Nursing Informatics, 16(3).