The best way to appraise the use of medical records in a hospital setting is through an interview of an IT manager of a hospital. Reasons for Instituting EMR According to the IT manager, it was crucial to adopt use of electronic medical records in order to improve the quality of healthcare provided by the hospital. Electronic medical records help to achieve better healthcare through a number of ways. First and foremost, the manager observed that such records increase the efficiency of the hospital in service provision as compared to traditional paperwork. It also eliminates most of the common errors that plague medical care and as a result reduces the number of complications resulting from human error. According to the manager, most errors in a hospital setting are at the stage of transcription and include illegibility, incorrect dose calculations and incomplete information; all of which the management of the hospital realized could be hugely reduced through adoption of electronic medical records. He also pointed out that electronic medical records enhance the image of the hospital as consumers are bound to conclude that such undertakings indicate quality of care and keeping up with times. The Decision to Adopt EMR The interviewed manager revealed that the idea of implementing EMR in the hospital came up after most of the senior management in the hospital had realized the need for it as stated in the previous section and hence were committed and determined to adopt EMR. An interdepartmental meeting was convened after a distribution of relevant memos. The attendance drew from the senior officials from the CEO’s office, information office, finance office, human resource department and the IT department. After presentations in support of adoption of electronic medical records opportunities for concerns, criticisms and opposition were given and answers to these provided by those in support. Although the proposal was adopted as a hospital policy and relevant staff training planned to optimize its implementation in the hospital, this did not happen without emphatic opposition from some quarters within the departments’ management. Several individuals were of the opinion that electronic medical records were still an untested idea and that it was unwise to invest in them only for failure to be realized later. The response to such concerns was a presentation on several evidence-based studies that found electronic records to be quite effective and advantageous to hospitals. Other concerns were focused on the claim that traditional paperwork was already effective and there was no need to fix something that was not broken. Explanations on the disadvantages of paperwork and the importance and wisdom behind accommodating change were explained to such individuals. Observed Impact of EMR on Quality of Healthcare The manager was of the view that there were absolutely no regrets on adoption of electronic medical records since most of the initial goals had been met and the future was looking quite encouraging. The quality of healthcare had improved markedly in terms of efficiency of service by the care givers. Faster documentation, archiving and retrieval had been realized and majority of the staff had efficiently taken up the change. Most of the transcriptional errors associated with medical practice had
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