Modern technology is presently playing a crucial role in the fields of nursing and education. Nurse practitioners (NPs) who have access to different health information systems and know how to use them effectively will address most of the challenges they face. Medical informatics is a powerful tool for transforming the experiences of NPs and ensuring that more patients receive high-quality and sustainable care. This paper describes how the use of electronic health records (EHRs) at the bedside can enhance nursing practice and improve patient safety.
Electronic Health Records
Information technology (IT) has become an integral tool in modern healthcare delivery systems for transforming both organizational and patient outcomes. The use of paper-based medical or patient records is a practice that makes it impossible for NPs to provide sustainable care (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2016). An electronic health record (EHR) is a computerized version of individuals’ medical charts. These systems are usually real-time, thereby making it possible for clinicians, physicians, and NPs to acquire timely information. The collected and stored data is accessible to authorized users in a given facility or unit.
Different care settings within an organization can share this kind of information to transform decision-making processes and ensure that the needs of different patients are met. Dirik, Samur, Intepeler, and Hewison (2018) indicate that identifiable users and practitioners will access patient information instantly. Competent technologies manage such systems to ensure that they enhance clinical processes and guiding physicians to address patients’ challenges (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2016). EHRs are designed in such a way that they support information sharing with different players within every care delivery chain, including emergency facilities, workplace clinics, laboratories, imaging facilities, specialists, and pharmacies.
Enhancing the Work of Nursing
The use of EHR at the clinical bedside is an evidence-based practice that can support the delivery of timely and sustainable patient services in a wide range of health settings. Such systems are digital in nature and they ensure that nurses and other professionals acquire the right information or data in a timely manner. Since these informatics technologies contain individuals’ treatment histories, past conditions, and wellbeing, nurses will be in a position to make suitable decisions whenever designing the most appropriate nursing procedure (Asokan & Vanitha, 2015). The data gained from such systems will inform the best models and guide practitioners to establish teams with competent professionals. This initiative will enhance the entire process and make it possible for health workers to complete their duties diligently.
EHR systems can be designed in such a way that they go beyond the normal or targeted clinical data. This is true since they can be inclusive and capable of providing a wider view of patients’ needs. This technological model will guide clinicians and nurses to offer personalized services to more people. At the bedside, NPs will get the right information of the targeted person instantly and focus on past treatment plans, laboratory results, and allergies (Coye, 2016). This timely evidence will become a powerful model for minimizing obstacles or barriers to care delivery.
Nurses providing support to their patients at the point of contact will use such EHRs to acquire evidence-based information that is in accordance with their respective expectations. This practice will support every decision-making procedure and make sure that practitioners are empowered to deliver timely and convenient services. They can also utilize such systems to liaise with other experts and acquire additional ideas for improving the quality of health support available to different patients (Dirik et al., 2018). This application explains why many nurses are now able to meet the needs of many persons with diverse medical demands.
The adoption of EHR has made it possible for health workers to minimize sentinel events and medication errors that affect health outcomes negatively (Pervanas, Revell, & Alotaibi, 2015). This is the case since such technologies allow nurses to identify the right person in a specific ward or set who is in need of medical services. This attribute ensures that the selected treatment procedures and drugs are presented to the right individual (Dirik et al., 2018). The provider will go further to make accurate decisions depending on the recorded data and utilize the right tools.
The automation associated with EHR continues to streamline the workflow of nurses and other professionals. Every event recorded whenever offering medical services can become a powerful guideline for improving patient safety, minimizing errors, and avoiding the duplication of inappropriate practices. The insights gained throughout the care delivery process can become evidence-based models for minimizing sentinel events. Mastrian and McGonigle (2016) acknowledge that EHR systems have led to improved patient safety, superior health outcomes, and reduced medical costs.
The above discussion has supported the use of EHR systems as powerful aspects of informatics that can enhance nursing practice at the bedside. Such technologies have the potential to support care coordination, decision-making, and patient empowerment processes. EHRs also provide new insights for minimizing sentinel events and ensuring that superior medical services are available to more individuals.
Asokan, G. V., & Vanitha, A. (2015). Leveraging “big data” to enhance the effectiveness of ‘‘one health’’ in an era of health informatics. Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, 5, 311-314. Web.
Coye, M. J. (2016). Informatics: The frontier of innovation in health and healthcare. Engineering, 2(1), 37-39. Web.
Dirik, H. F., Samur, M., Intepeler, S. S., & Hewison, A. (2018). Nurses’ identification and reporting of medication errors. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28(5-6), 931-938. Web.
Mastrian, K. G., & McGonigle, D. (2016). Informatics for health professionals. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Pervanas, H. C., Revell, N., & Alotaibi, A. F. (2015). Evaluation of medication errors in community pharmacy settings: A retrospective report. Journal of Pharmacy Technology, 32(2), 71-74. Web.