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MN569 FNP I Clinical - Life Span Health Focus - Health Information Technology


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MN569 Assignment 2: Health Information Technology

Health information technology (health IT) makes it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure use and sharing of health information.

Health IT includes the use of electronic health records (EHRs) instead of paper medical records to maintain people's health information.

Share the EHR platform that your practice uses and discuss the challenges and barriers to electronic charting.

Why have we moved from paper charting to EHR's?

What is meant by meaningful use regulations and why is this important to know when documenting in the EHR? Please support your work with at least three evidence based practice resources that are less than 5 years old.



An electronic health record is nothing but a digital version of a paper chart of a patient. They make all the information available instantly, and the records are also stored in real-time. Only users who are authorized to use the platforms are able to access the data. It usually contains the details of the treatment or the medical histories of patients, but it goes way beyond the standard clinical data that is collected from them (Romano and Stafford, 2011). EHRs usually allow access to evidence-based tools that can be utilized by the healthcare providers to make the necessary decisions regarding the care that is to be given to the patient.

Currently used EHR platform
The EHR platform that is being currently used by the concerned practice is eClinicalWorks.It is an extremely versatile solution that makes it very easy to engage with the patients and manage the records.Some of its features can be listed as follows -
• Appointment scheduling
• Compliance tracking
• Charting
• E-prescribing
• Self-service portal
• Handwriting recognition
• Voice recognition

It is also ONC-ATCB and meaningful-use certified, and can be said to be among the leading platforms for ambulatory services. The platform uses only the most up-to-date technology, and its innovative measures ensure that all the aspects of patient care are controlled efficiently, starting from scheduling and prescribing to documentation and billing. It has its own virtual assistant Eva, and the software is available across all devices.

Many healthcare practices use EHS software, and the implementation has been increasing at quite an impressive rate. Although the incorporation of the software has been mostly successful, there are many barriers that are faced by the institutions when it comes to electronic charting, which might make the task a difficult one (Jha, DesRoches, Kralovec, and Joshi, 2010).


Challenges and barriers to electronic charting
Technical ability:The ability of any electronic device, such as computers, is affected to a significant extent by its age, location,and so on. Thus, an internet connection could be more difficult to be connected to when it comes to a rural setting, as compared to an urban location. Thus, the location of the facility must be such that these issues do not arise in terms of electronic charting.

Costs:The implementation of the advancements in healthcare IT, such as the EHRs can be quite expensive. In fact, maintaining them can be expensive as well, and finding the right means to invest in the support, training as well as the overall physical infrastructure can be a massive challenge that can be faced, and this holds true mostly for smaller practices (Romano and Stafford, 2011). Thus, the funding decisions are important before proceeding with electronic charting.

People:Not everybody within the healthcare organization would be willing to lend their support in terms of implementing an EHR, which implies that there will be people who would reject the platforms or may not be cooperative, especially if there are technical malfunctions early on. These barriers need to be considered before implementing electronic charting.

Workflow break-up:Creating a steady workflow practice is one of the primary purposes of implementing an EHR within the practice. Implementing the use of electronic charting can cause issues within the workflow.Moreover, if the EHR is not customized properly, it might lead to a messed-up workflow, leading to major challenges for the healthcare outlet (Romano and Stafford, 2011). Thus, a demonstration of how the entire implementation is supposed to work should be given before it gets underway.

Training:When a healthcare institution implements an EHR, it is suggested that they train their employees accordingly, so that they can adjust with the new work processes. Also, this is necessary in every level of the various departments. However, this entire process can be rather time-consuming, and might involve a lot of resources and efforts, which implies that many practices might not be able to afford it, especially if they are on a much smaller scale. Without training, the use of electronic charting becomes pretty difficult.

Privacy concerns:There are numerous concerns that arise when it comes to medical privacy regarding the use of EHRs. Many patients as well as healthcare providers are worried about losing information, which could occur due to the hackers or even due to natural disasters (Fernández-Alemán, Señor, Lozoya, and Toval, 2013).


Reasons for shifting to electronic from paper charting
There is virtually a horde of reasons that can be listed when it comes to justifying the shift from paper charting to the use of electronic health records. In addition to providing high-quality care for the patients, EHRs also help manage the care in a better manner, which can be justified as follows -
• The patient information provided is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Moreover, these records can be accesses very quickly any time the caregiver needs to, which makes the care meted out very efficient and coordinated.
• The electronic information that is relayed to other healthcare professionals or clinicians is shared in a very secure manner, which improves patient privacy and security.
• Caregivers are often able to better diagnose the patients with the help of their medical histories stored within the EHRs, which thereby reduces the chances of medical errors, enabling them to impart safer patient care.
• The need for dealing with hand-written notes iseliminated, as the required information can now be typed, thereby making them more legible.
• The health charts can be easily accessed as they can be indexed by numerous identifiers. Thus, doctors don't have to rummage through the entire clinic in case they lose any papers.
• Many healthcare centers have been able to save massive amounts of money in the form of transcription costs after they have implemented the use of electronic charting.
• EHRs also help save shelf space, as the large number of unnecessary files and paper charts would otherwise clutter the entire space.
• The clinics also find it convenient to work with fewer employees, as less staff is required for maintaining the patient records, since most of the documentation work is supervised by the EHRs.
• Prescribing to patients is safer, as the EHRs are aware of the safe limits of the various drugs.
• Patient data is more secure, as only those with the authority to access the records can get hold of them.
• The lessening of the workload for the employees mean that they are able to have a better balance between their work and personal lives.
• The coding as well as the billing procedures are completely legible, accurate and streamlined.

Meaningful use of regulations and its significance regarding documenting in the EHR
EHRs are being used widely to improve the patient outcomes and the decisions of the caregivers. Individuals who are used to experiencing the benefits of this technology will expect the same standards of service every time they attend a caregiver. The potential value offering of these EHRs have been debated on time and again, which has led to the formulation of the meaningful use of regulations regarding electronic documentation (Blumenthaland Tavenner, 2010). Meaningful use refers to the use of certified EHR platforms in a manner as to achieve a critical goal that is alignment with the national interests.

The concept of meaningful use of regulations in electronic healthcare systems or electronic documenting refers to the implementation of the technology in a manner that is useful for the exchange of health information, while improving the quality of care. The entire concept rests on five standards or pillars, which are -
1. Improving safety, efficiency, quality, and reducing the disparities in healthcare
2. Engaging patients along with their families in their healthcare procedures
3. Improving care coordination
4. Improving the overall health of the population
5. Ensuring sufficient privacy as well as security for personal health information.
After the introduction of the MARCA or the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, the meaningful use, or the Medicare EHR Incentive Program quickly changed to become one of the major components of the MIPS or the Meir-Based Incentive Payment System (Blumenthal and Tavenner, 2010). As mentioned above, meaningful use leverages on the EHR technology, and the primary aims of this compliance is to promote better clinical results, improve the public health, increase the transparency as well as the efficiency, empower the patients, and encourage a more robust search for data regarding health systems.


The use of electronic health record platforms is therefore quite an advantage for most medical practices, as it has the capacity to increase the efficiency as well as the accuracy of the various processes. Prescriptions have become a lot safer, and keeping track of the medical history of the patients has also become more convenient due to the elimination of the need for rigorous paperwork, which was not only time-consuming but also labor-intensive. Moreover, as outlined by the regulations pertaining to meaningful use, the use of EHRs is aimed towards bringing about an improvement in the general health and well-being of the people, and also to promote more autonomy in terms of healthcare when it comes to the patients and their families.


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