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Nurses Play Important Role in EHR Implementation

 

Doctor taking care of patient in hospital room

The transition to electronic health records (EHR) can be difficult for physicians, but the nursing staff can help to make the change easier. If the nurses are smart enough then it makes provider’s life easy. The productivity of nurses can be improved with implementation of an EHR system and, when involved in the process, they are often instrumental in helping the practice make the difficult transition.

Nurses Embracing EHRs

Nurses have been warming up to their EHR systems in recent years. A 2018 survey by Black Book Market Research suggests that, while the majority of nurses surveyed—69 percent—still believe EHRs are disruptive to their daily activities, that number is down from 84 percent in third quarter 2016.

Additionally, EHRs seem to have become more stable with regard to nursing activities. In 2016, 85 percent of nurses surveyed agreed with the statement that EHRs have flaws and glitches that disrupt workflow. In 2018 only 44 percent agreed with that statement.

Despite their misgivings about EHRs, an overwhelming majority of nurses recognized the importance of becoming competent with using them. Averaged across the demographic segments surveyed, 85 percent of nurses believed being fluent in a single EHR system is a valued employment skill set, while 65 percent believed the same about being skilled in multiple EHR systems.

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Proven results

The first attempt to implement EHRs at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital failed because of a lack of nurse involvement, Clinical Innovation and Technology reported in 2013. The second time around, management made sure to include nurse representatives in all meetings and trainings. As a result, the majority of the staff was informed about the changes and the implementation was successful.

Nicole Martinez, director of nursing informatics at the hospital, explained that physicians shouldn't take all the responsibility of EHR systems on themselves.

"For physicians to truly collaborate with nursing, the nurses now cared about the physician struggle," said Martinez at the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society 2013 annual convention, according to Clinical Innovation and Technology.

EHR Transition Success

EHRIntelligence reported that transitions to EHR systems have an 83 percent higher success rate when nurses take on some of the responsibility. Many nurses enter illness history into the electronic system through a physician-approved template and conduct reviews of system data.

Electronic records can also increase the productivity of the nursing staff. EHRs provide immediate access to patient information, allow for quick prescription refills and prevent misfiled charts from slowing work.

Nursing schools have begun adding EHR education components to the curricula in recent years, so younger nurses may be more familiar with the systems than veterans. Nurses who are already familiar with computers tend to embrace the new systems, but technophobes often need more convincing of the benefits.

However, getting nurses on board for implementation can ease the burden on physicians and increase the speed and efficiency of the transition. Thus, nurses play a vital role and we at OmniMD try to make providers’ and nurses’ lives easier by providing intuitive software and support. Contact us today to request a demo.

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