Advantages and Disadvantages of a System
Upon evaluation of a Health Information System (HIS) of a healthcare organization, reflection of the usability, interoperability, scalability, and compatibility must be taking into consideration to determine its effectiveness. According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), usability is the usefulness, proficiency, and satisfaction with which specific operators can attain a set of tasks in a specific atmosphere (EHR Usability, 2016). An advantage of the usability of a system is permitting several sanctioned users from different subsidiaries access to the patient’s health information at once; allowing holistic care to transpire. Another advantage is simplicity if provided. The simplicity of a HIS is vital for decreasing dissatisfaction and apprehension of the clinician; allowing full advantage and familiarity of the system. Simplicity also caters to veteran caretakers and those with inadequate computer abilities. Disadvantages that need be considered is complexity and dependency. Difficult usability of a HIS causes users to become apprehensive about using or learning the system. While dependability is a significant advantage, reliance can be its negative byproduct. Dependency can cause caretakers not to validate the information provided by or entered in the system, with medication dosages and vital signs being an example.
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Interoperability is the ability of diverse systems and establishments to function collectively to exchange data (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2016). Countless healthcare facilities use health information systems that vary within their organization as well nearby healthcare institutions. The advantage of interoperability is the aptitude to exchange needed healthcare information between various systems seamlessly. This advantage assists in the creation of a strong multidisciplinary team from diverse departments and facilities. A disadvantage of interoperability is the violation of the patient’s healthcare information. This disadvantage increases with the number of clinicians on the healthcare team. The more systems that can retrieve the patient information creates a higher risk of violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) laws.
Scalability is the ability of a health data structure to expand as the organization grows (Acrobatiq, 2016). Advantages are that workers will not have the task of familiarizing themselves with a different system. It also saves the company the cost and hassle of purchasing a new system and providing further training. The disadvantage of scalability would be the opposite of the advantage listed above; which is the inability of the system to expand with the company. This disadvantage has the potential to cause a loss of information and increase cost for the organization, being that a new system will be needed.
Compatibility is the ability for software to function with one another or ancillary devices (Mastrian &McGonigle, 2016). The advantage is the capability of multiple systems working together, obliging access of significant patient information to healthcare professionals in unalike departments; producing modernize care and improving time management by eliminating the need to contact another department for patient information. The drawbacks are having to bank on the apparatus and software. A system is not compatible if some software needs to stream on one program whereas the rest of the software must flow on another (Acrobatiq, 2016). If systems become disconnected, patient accounts are not able to be retrieved; causing delays and dissatisfaction.
Patient Care and Documentation
Information technology is rapidly fluctuating in all capacities universally; producing new opposes and prospects for distinctive industries daily, including healthcare. Patient care has become the chief focal point in the elaboration of innovative notions and information in healthcare technology. A well-designed data structure can simplify and deliver an affluent and quicker information flow that is required for efficient record processing (Technology and Patient Care, 2017). Patient care is affected by the system permitting all the patient’s information to be in one place, improving things like medication administration and fast notification of lab abnormalities.
The electronic documentation method has evolved to provide a plan of care for patients, efficient communication between clinicians, and direct patient care processes. (Technology and Patient Care, 2017). Systems affect documentation by providing features like barcode scan and data entry. Barcode scans protect the patient by alerting the healthcare professional of drug allergies and look alike sound alike medications. Scanning the armband assist the nurse to perform the six rights of medication administration, decreasing the likelihood of medication errors.
Quality and Delivery of Nursing Care and Patient Outcomes
The system helps the value of nursing care by standardizing nursing semantics. (Rutherford, 2008). A standardized language allows the clinician to devote a reduced amount of time probing for data focus on providing high-quality patient care. The system also offers connections to scholastic data that enlightens the patient regarding their illness and medications. Plans of care are generated by the system, according to diagnosis, guiding the nurse to deliver optimal nursing care and create favorable patient outcomes. The system provides alerts for appointed tasks due, abnormal labs, new medication orders, and drug allergies; this enhances quality and safe care to the patient.
Ways Quality Improvement Data Can Lead to Measurable Improvement
Quality improvement (QI) data accumulated from an electronic system can be directed to measurable improvements in healthcare services and the health status of a targeted patient group because of the simplicity of user-friendliness and competence. Two specific way that an HIS assists in QI is by monitoring for patient- precise conditions such as pressure ulcers and pain management. The system signals the nurse to chart a skin assessment, especially those that are bed-bound or have a history of pressure ulcers, usually every thirty minutes; it also lists distinctive prevention details to lessen the occurrences.
The documentation of pain and the reaction to contributions of pain management approaches can lead to quantifiable advancements in health care services. The system requires that the patient rate their pain on a scale before pain medicine is given, and thirty to sixty minutes after, to ensure the effectiveness of the prescribed treatment. The system suggests other interventions if the current one is of no relief.
HITECH and HIPPA Security Standards and Regulations
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) and HIPAA functions jointly to certify patient confidentiality and safekeeping of data; verifying that a system will sustain HITECH and HIPPA security criteria and guidelines concerning data storage integrity and data backup and recovery. The ability to effectively, steadily and unfailingly keep patient data is required to ensure integrity. This integrity is assured through executing error inspections and authentication measures to uphold a protected structure; with virus scans, firewalls, and encryption being examples. The organization must execute barricades that ban outside or inside sources from replicating, disclosing or removing material. The system must have a secure back up copy of information, and it should be placed offsite to be satisfactory of HIPAA Security Final Rule. Backup procedures must be intermittently tested, according to policy, to verify that the system is working properly. A solid storage and backup system is imperative in counteracting deception or contravention in an organization. (HIPAA-HITECH and Data Backup, 2012).
Protection of Patient Privacy
A system will guard patient confidentiality by governing the means of system admission. Users are obliged to log in and out of the system using passwords. Sign off after a set amount of time of inactivity, security badges, and fingerprint accessing is used in an addendum to passwords. The system additionally protects patient privacy by granting access according to credentials and patient care needs. The system creates a log of every time the patient’s information was access, who accessed it, what information was obtained, and changes that were made; if any.
Organizational Efficiency and Productivity
A system will enhance organizational competence and production by standardizing documentation, reducing waste, increasing productivity, and human and capital resource. The usage of uniformed documentation produces better-quality communication between the care team. This customary dialectal results in a successful collection of data in quality analysis and improvement of patient care processes. Reduction of waste is done by making all paperwork electronic. In previous times, all patient information is done by hand and paper and placed in a chart; those charts then had to be situated in a safe designated area, usually, a room with a locked door, to adhere to HIPAA regulations. A system supports increasing productivity by generating more resourceful patient care and documentation routes. Resulting in more available time to provide quality patient care. The system also assists in gathering patient and specified data for examination to improve patient outcomes, lowered hospital admissions, and readmission percentage.
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Regarding human and capital resource, the system offers benefits that allow treatment of the same capacity of patients utilizing less staff; with telehealth being an illustration. This system function allows staff to conveniently contact patients and patients to contact healthcare professional concerning follow-ups and appointments. The system can assist with invoicing. When the healthcare professional notates on services rendered, the system automatically set a bill that can be finalized during discharge.
Interdisciplinary Team Identification
Four stakeholder roles needed to form an interdisciplinary team to work on system implementation are a nurse educator, an informatics nurse, Information Technology (IT), and risk management. The role of the informatics nurse would be to start with educating the nurse educator; providing analytics on the advantages of the healthcare system. The nurse informatics specialist will contribute to the success of the project by submitting their system knowledge proficiency. The nurse educator will educate the staff on what she learned from research and the informatics nurse; focusing on the necessity of the change and how it aids them in giving top-notch care to the patient. The expertise of the nurse educator increases the successfulness of the project by expanding the staff’s knowledge so that they are more likely not to resent the change.
IT will stand accountable for formation and safekeeping of installing and testing software. The task of IT is vital for the success of the project because if the system is unsuccessful, the project will be as well. The member from risk management will be responsible for evaluating the plan of action for the project and determining the risk if any, the organization and patients will endure from the implementation of the plan. Risk management contributes to the success by identifying risk and understanding the process to minimize those risk.
Plan for Evaluating Success of Implementing a System
My plan to evaluate the success of the implementation of a system will be by using the standards of the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA) and the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI). ANIA use informatics to advance the health of populations, communities, families, and individuals by enhancing information supervision and communication (American Nursing Informatics Association, 2015). The mission of ANI is to endorse health and progress healthcare by way of the research and innovation of informatics. (About ANI, 2018).
The interdisciplinary team will meet to discuss the success of the implementation of the plan; starting with how they viewed their performance during the entire process. Risk management will present their incidence report findings with the informatics nurse; supplying their recommendations. If risk management’s incident report is related to the operating system, the informatics nurse will meet with IT to share the findings and develop a plan to correct the issue, if any. The ANI standards will also be used in the evaluation by conducting a survey of staff providing direct patient care and reviewing risk management’s incident report related to patient care. Once both results are considered, the informatics nurse will meet with the nurse educator, one-on-one, discussing further evaluation or changes. The informatics nurse and nurse educator will meet with the staff to discuss their feedback and educate them on changes if any. Through uncovering problems and supervising efficiency, the informatics team can create a successful and beneficial system for the organization
- About ANI. (2018, March 26). Retrieved from https://www.allianceni.org/about-us
- Acrobatiq. (2016). Advanced information management and the application of technology [Courseware]. Available from https://wgu-nx.acrobatiq.com/courseware/contents/wgu_C791_04Oct16_adv_info_mgt_appl_tech
- Mastrian, K. G., & McGonigle, D. (2017). Informatics for health professionals. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Rutherford, M. (2008, January, 31).Standardized nursing language: What does it mean for nursing practice? OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 13(1). doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol13No01PPT05
- The Right Balance –Technology and Patient Care. (2017, September 27). Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/right-balance-technology-and-patient-care
- The Truth about HIPAA-HITECH and Data Backup. (2012, March 29). Retrieved from https://www.hbma.org/news/public-news/n_the-truth-about-hipaa-hitech-and-data-backup
- What is EHR Usability. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/what-ehr-usability
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