Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Implementation in a Psychiatric Hospital Introduction For effective performance of psychiatric hospitals, there is need for change in management, ways of doing things to ensure the hospitals adapt to new technologies, and other changes aimed at improving service delivery…
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The Need for Electronic Medical Records in Psychiatric Hospital Setting The term Electronic Medical Records (EMR) refers to clinical and managerial utilities of technologies, which include electronic prescribing, billing, computerized physician order entry (CPOE), reporting, record keeping as well as documentation. Psychiatric hospitals are characterized by bulk data records and the kind of patients who are likely to complain on the quality of services given by nurses. EMR implementation will enhance proper, essential, and up to date record keeping for amicable resolution of any controversies or ligations and ensure quality services in psychiatric hospitals. Nurses play a major role in psychiatric hospitals and are required to keep records used by other colleagues such as physicians in making decisions regarding mental patients. Implementing Electronic Medical Record keeping procedure to substitute paper-based medical records will give medical care givers including nurses more time to focus on caregiving (Sharfstein, Dickerson, & Oldham, 2009). By implementing EMR, it will be easy for nurses to notice and correct any inefficiency. Additionally, EMR will allow installation of other programs such as automatic communication, which helps in improving the quality of services in psychiatric hospitals where patients require frequent attention from nurses (Sharfstein, Dickerson, & Oldham, 2009). Implementing EMR in psychiatric hospitals will enable cooperation between different departments thus enhance making of decisions regarding patients since electronically saved data will be easily and simultaneously accessed by different departments (Luo, 2006). Proper use of EMR will promote early identification and apposite treatment of potentially violent psychiatric patient behaviors. In the long run EMR will protect individual nurses and other care providers from allegations of bad record-keeping. Additionally, EMR keeping is easy and will ensure that professional and legal welfare of nurses are not undermined by lack or incomplete records (Luo, 2006). Organizational and Individual Barriers to Implementation of EMR There are significant challenges that would affect the implementation of EMR in psychiatric hospitals. One of the major challenges would be finances. Implementation of EMR requires a lot of money to buy the EMR systems and training. Psychiatric hospitals are characterized by financial limitations since the services offered cannot yield sufficient funds to implement and maintain such a program. To resolve this I would advise the hospitals to seek financial assistance from donors in addition to seeking government funding. Another challenge concerns patient’s privacy since EMR would lead to possible access of patient’s information by other parties who may use it for selfish or harmful motives. Most psychiatric hospitals are still lacking technological clarity regarding disclosure of patient health information to secondary sources. This problem will not be too rampant since the HIPPA act clearly explains on disclosure of private health information. Additionally, I will encourage hospital management to offer training regarding prevention of PHI to wrong parties (Luo, 2006). An additional challenge is that psychiatric hospitals possess a lot of bulk paper records thus it would be difficult and burdensome to convert such records to electronic records. To ease the work, the conversion
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