Currently, the advancement in technology, hospitals and other related healthcare facilities have adopted the use of Electronic Health Records in the organization system. They incorporate engineering with Information Communication Technology to achieve the objectives. Health units use various categories of EHRs to facilitate their daily operations. EHRs are computerized systems that assist doctors with the collection of necessary data of the patients. It is the responsibility of the organization’s management to ensure reliable systems are implemented. The presentation will analyze the types of EHRs that can be used in healthcare, their significance, and their limitation.
Types and Reasons for Implementing EHRs
Various types of EHRs are being used in the healthcare units. In the organization, the ones that will be implemented are Epic and Cerner. Both of them are widely used by most hospitals, thus indicating their reliability in promoting better service delivery. These electronic versions play a significant role in improving healthcare delivery to customers (Kruse et al., 2018). They enable providers to use up-to-date information will dealing with patient issues. The records provide nurses with relevant and accurate details necessary for disease management. Furthermore, EHRs facilitate easy and quick access to patients’ records, especially during emergencies. Therefore, implementing them into the system would make doctors have reduced tasks when prescribing medications.
The Epic ERH
Epic is a cloud-based HERs software developed by Epic Corporation to cater to different specialties. It provides an array of HER features useful for promoting effective patient care within healthcare facilities. Its components include patient history, medical templates, reporting, analysis, billing management, referrals, scheduling, appointment management, clinical workflow, document management, patient portal, voice recognition, e-prescription, and insurance claims. Furthermore, the software is available as a native app that can be downloaded and used on all internet-accessible devices, both android and iOS operating systems. It also facilitates easy integration with third parties, thus making it easy to use within the system.
Advantages of Epic EHR
Epic software significantly impacts the healthcare system in a number of ways. Its features allow health professionals to be more productive, thus offering better services to the patients. It provides providers with up-to-date information, thus enabling them to be efficient. Patients’ data are organized accordingly, which makes them easier to analyze. Furthermore, the system easily integrates with that of the organization, making it simple to implement. Different healthcare units can use the platform to exchange important charts due to its interoperability. There are various Epic applications that meet the need for practice.
Disadvantages of Epic EHR
Despite Epic’s essential role in the EHRs system, it has some serious limitations that affect its output in healthcare. First, the cost of acquiring the software and implementing it is massive, which a challenge for organizations is. It runs bugged updates that can interfere with the confidence of users. Furthermore, it is not easy to follow the patient records. In most cases, when the software is used and left for some days, it will pick from where the action stopped ignoring the changes that happen during the duration of the break. Lastly, it has a complicated user interface that makes it difficult for operators to navigate.
The Cerner EHR
Cerner is cloud-based software that enables physicians to streamline their operations to enhance better healthcare provision in hospitals. The platform offers different features that make it more productive and effective in the system. Its components enable nurses to easily access patient records for accurate information. Cerner is customizable and supports over 50 medical specialties making it convenient for health organizations that handle varied aspects. The EHR is available in the web-based application and can be used by devices that access the internet. Furthermore, Cerner has a ‘chart search’ function that allows practitioners to reduce time while seeking urgent information.
Advantages of Cerner
Cerner EHR software allows health professionals to offer effective services by focusing on the patient since the tool provides real-time updates increasing accuracy and efficiency. The platform is simple, and its interface is user-friendly, enabling nurses to navigate patient reports with ease. The providers offer full support to the health organization, such as implementation and installation. Furthermore, Cerner provides strong data security hence protecting patients’ details. It has a CareAware device that promotes interoperability amongst EHRs systems. Moreover, the software has a patient portal that gives sick individuals the opportunity to access the medical results in their comfort.
Limitations of Cerner
Even though Cerner has proven effective in enabling health care providers to streamline their services, there are several challenges that nurses and patients encounter when using the software. The system has various features making it difficult to navigate. Developers also do not reply in time when customers need urgent support. Its updates occur less frequently and consume time during the process. In addition, to understand the functions of all the aspects of the software, an operator requires proper training. Users have to click the system continuously during usage in order to complete tasks making it cumbersome to use.
Technology Requirement for EHRs
Before implementing the EHRs system, a health organization requires a number of technologies to support the software operation. There must be active computer hardware that will support the program. A proxy server is also necessary to assist in connecting the computers and the local network available. This will enable the healthcare facility to boost the security and efficiency of EHRs performance. In addition, the software will require Java to facilitate the development of a user-friendly language. A hard drive of about 1GB is also needed to store the records and other useful documents. Lastly, operating systems such as Linux or Intel Xenon processors are mandatory for the platform to work accordingly.
EHRs Planning Phases
System development life cycle (SDLC) is a crucial guide for healthcare organizations to understand all the steps and requirements necessary for implementing EHRs into the healthcare system. The first stage is the planning phase; at this point, an array of initial activities are performed to prepare the HospitalHospital for the project. A team is formed to conduct a feasibility study concerning the execution of the idea. The system’s objectives are determined, and a proper outline is created. Funds and necessary resources are accumulated to facilitate the process. Lastly, the project schedule is created and governance structure to ensure the procedures are undertaken effectively.
ERHs Analysis Phase
The analysis stage is a significant phase of EHRs implementation. It involves gathering the specific requirements for the project. At this step, developers define different prototypes and evaluate possible alternatives. The needs of end-users are also determined to ensure the developed system meets their demand and increases their overall experience. In addition, the needed specifications of the EHRs are created, such as the software that will run the program and the relevant hardware that supports it. In addition, EHRs network requirements are established as well.
EHRs Design Stage
During this phase of SDLC, most activities are undertaken by system developers. They outline the required details of the application, including the user interface, specifications of the system interface, and the database. Furthermore, the network required is configured in a more logical structure. Training, maintenance, and operation plans are also structured at this point to enable designers to have an idea of what to incorporate in each stage of the project forward. Lastly, once the developers are through with defining the system specifications, the organization manager formulates a design document that will be used during the remaining steps of the program as a reference. This will enable the healthcare management to incorporate all the ideas required into the EHRs for effective operation.
EHRs Development Stage
The development stage is the key part of the EHRs foundation, whereby the system developers create the codes for the program. The coding is guided by the strategic organization’s decisions to facilitate the clinical and operational design. Interpreters, debuggers, and compilers are used to run the basic test of the software. A relevant programing language is picked that meets the specifications of the EHRs requirements. The healthcare needs such as medical templates, patient portals, and billing are included in the EHRs. Designers ensure the application is developed as per the design document of the healthcare unit.
EHRs Testing Phase
After completing the development of the EHRs software, developers have to run a test to confirm and ensure there are no bugs that can inconvenience health professionals and patients. This phase will ensure the program operates effectively and efficiently. When possible defects are detected, developers correct the system and then retest again to ensure no bugs. During this phase, designers will confirm whether the EHRs have met the needs of the HospitalHospital based on the design document prepared earlier. The comprehensive and integrated testing program guarantees that the system works as per the design.
EHRs Implementation and Integration Phase
After vigorous system tests, the next phase of EHRs development is implementation and integration. The whole platform is put together into work, and other modules are added to adapt it to the environment (Pai et al., 2021). Series of training activities are conducted to ensure users are familiar with the interfaces. Healthcare policies and procedures are developed to coordinate its operations within the hospital units. Furthermore, the software is installed into the healthcare technologies and subjected to live actions, after which the developers will evaluate its post-live activities to assess if it meets the organization’s needs. In addition, daily operational support will be provided to enable nurses to use the system with ease.
EHRs Maintenance Phase
Finally, after installing and integrating the EHRs into the healthcare facility system, developers should conduct regular checks to ensure there are no data leaks. Continuously track new software updates to incorporate the latest version of the platform. Furthermore, developers test operability to ensure it works efficiently and meets the organization’s needs. Identifying the potential cause of defaults that may lead to system failure and correct them before happening. The maintenance stage will enable the EHRs to operate effectively and efficiently, thus enabling the organization to achieve its objectives.
Kruse, C. S., Stein, A., Thomas, H., & Kaur, H. (2018). The use of electronic health records to support population health: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of medical systems, 42(11), 1-16.
Pai, M. M., Ganiga, R., Pai, R. M., & Sinha, R. K. (2021). Standard electronic health record (EHR) framework for Indian healthcare system. Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology, 21(3), 339-362.