Best Practices in Electronic Health Records

The expertise in clinical functions and the time efficiency are relevant factors that lead to the fit between the requirements and the system. EHR requires heavy investments and not all health care organizations can afford this expenditure. Hence it becomes necessary to understand the trade-off between the investment in EHR and maintaining paper records. This has been studied through an investigation into the practices of one health service provider that uses EHR and another that continues with paper records – namely – Mercy Medical Center and Advocate Health Center. The study was conducted by way of interviews (Appendix A) and a summary of the findings is presented below.

Since clinicians spend the majority of their time providing direct care to the patients, maintaining EHR could increase the patient-clinician interaction time which in turn enhances the quality of care delivered (Poissant et al). This was confirmed by Jeanne Sosnicki- Manager of HIM records at Mercy Medical Center (MMC) when she stated the numerous benefits that their organization had achieved in the short span of time. MMC has started the EHR only in September 2008 but can find several tangible benefits from the system. Time efficiency is one of the major benefits that this health care organization has been able to achieve. The manager at MMC believes that the system has improved access to medical record information which has in turn improved the workflow at the organization. This is because the EHRs are available to multiple users 24×7 and hence decision-making has improved. Besides, it is now possible to edit the EHRs by appropriate authorities. Besides, it has become very convenient to access records in real-time at any time of the day and night. It is also easier to update and maintain records. The old handwritten charts could be looked into by only one person at a time (Reiter, 2009) whereas the EHR can be accessed by multiple users at the same time and it also allows for quicker&nbsp.retrieval.&nbsp.