Electronic Health Records Implementation

This section explains methods that were used to evaluate the process of implementation in the hospital. It also examines the outcome measure and shows how EMR discharge is reliable, sensitive to change, and appropriate for adoption.

Section E: Outcome Measure
The major objective of this project was to implement an system that would help healthcare professionals solve communication problems within the hospital. Thus, they would avoid medication errors that jeopardize patient care and safety. Before-and-After the analysis outcome measure was used to evaluate the progress of this project. Improved communication between physician-physician, physician-nurse, and nurse-nurse, and overall reduction of medication errors in the hospital would indicate positive outcomes.

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The project manager will collect data from health care professionals using a survey questionnaire three months after the implementation of an EMR system. The questionnaire will be based on the effectiveness and challenges of using an EMR in practice. In addition, the survey will measure satisfaction or dissatisfaction with technology use within the hospital. Some of the survey questions will be scale type to measure participant perceptions about the EMR project, while others will require the participants to give either true or false answers (Brooks & Grotz, 2010). The outcome measurement tool is provided in the appendix.

How the Selected Outcome Measure is Credible
The committee in charge of implementation, evaluation, and monitoring of the electronic medical records consisted of IT experts and healthcare professionals. Therefore, the criteria they used to develop the outcome measure survey were based on experience. This confirms the validity of the outcome measure in determining the effectiveness of EMR in improving communication between healthcare professionals, and reducing medication errors. Moreover, the use of a survey instrument to collect information on EMR use and staff compliance with EMR standards enhanced the validity of this outcome measure.

The measure is reliable because it gathers information directly from the participants while evaluating their perceptions, interest, and willingness to use technology in practice. Furthermore, the measure is sensitive to and change because technology solutions are believed to improve patient safety and care. Therefore, the survey was an appropriate method to gather information on improved communication between healthcare professionals, and reduced medication errors due to successful adoption of EMR. The measure allowed the EMR implementation team to gather information before and after the execution of the EMR project to develop a better outcome.

Methods Used to Collect Outcome Measure Data and their Rationale
Behavioral and was used to collect outcome measurement data. This method is known to measure the effect of behavior-based intervention. A checklist of communication behaviors between healthcare professionals and patients was developed and adjustments were made depending on the feedback. This method was chosen because it is a leading indicator, implying that intervention or safety measures are developed before an incident takes place. In addition, observations could occur regularly to generate information sensitive to changes caused by the adoption of the electronic medical records. Another method that was employed was employee surveys. The surveys were used to measure what could not be observed (World Health Organization, 2000). This method examined the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions healthcare professionals held about EMR incorporation in the hospital systems.

Resources Needed for Outcome measure Evaluation
Resources needed for evaluating the outcome measure include information and materials that were collected during a pilot project. The committee would need to spend quality time to analyze the post-test EMR implementation results to determine the effects of EMR in the entire hospital. Establishment of appropriate communication channels is also a for outcome evaluation. This would ensure that there is precise and clear presentation of data and results to enable the management make decisions for improvement. Other resources needed include qualified personnel, finances, and quality time. In addition, hardware and software resources will be required to ensure successful installation and functioning of the EMR system (EMR Evaluation Toolkit, 2009).

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