Quality of care issue: Electronic Health Records

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Quality of care issue: Electronic Health Records essay assignment

Today Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are at the center of health care uniting health care professionals, working as one team to improve the quality of care to all patients (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2012). However, quality of health care throughout the US varies among states, individual providers and even inter-departmental within hospitals (Knickman & Kovner, 2016). Additionally, even with advances in science and technology, 40% of the population is made up of chronic diseases; we need to bridge this gap between acute and chronic care, to ensure patients are receiving what they deserve in a more consistent way (Institute of Medicine, 2001). Providing safe and quality health care is paramount, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) identified six issues, improving the overall health of the nation: Health care should be safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable (2001).

Quality of care issue: Electronic Health Records essay assignment

Impact of Delivery

EHRs are a digital version of the patient’s medical records and are an important part of today’s health care. EHRs are real-time, providing up to date information about both medical history and treatment of the individual patients. As nurses, we spend a lot of our time with our patients, so the EHRs provides an up to date record of the nurse-patient interaction. EHRs are an invaluable tool for the day to day events of the patient. By using EHRs, communication improves which allows information to be readily and instantly available to authorized personnel (HealthIT.gov, 2013). Also they have a significant impact on patient-centered care, providing one particular place for all the pertinent information about the patient such as medical history, treatment plans, and laboratory results. Another benefit of EHRs is the instant access to evidence-based practice, allowing incorporation into the treatment of the patient, making treatment more efficient and effective (HealthIT.gov, 2013). Lastly, by having all this information stored digitally and in one place, information can flow across all providers; data can flow from primary care to specialist physician to pharmacy, radiology, emergency room, etc. (HealthIT.gov, 2013).

Strategy for improvement.

When I first started nursing, if someone would have told me I would be charting at computers at the bedside, I would have been very skeptical. In fact, when I was introduced to the idea of EHRs, I thought this was going to take me away from the bedside and put me in front of a computer screen. However, now having used EHRs for many years in different countries, I can see the benefits. It gave me more time with the patient rather than less. Now I find it an integral part of everyday life and communication with all members of the health care team. One strategy for improvement is by working with student nurses, incorporating EHRs into their curriculum. By combining this within their program, it provides a greater knowledge and understanding of the benefits for both the user, the patient and their family (Kowitlawakul, Chan, Pulcini & Wang, 2015). By encouraging acceptance of EHRs, we promote a united front and a positive attitude towards our patient’s overall care. Also we can aim to bridge the gap between the care that the patient is receiving and what they desire for the best outcome for their health (IOM, 2001).

When looking at combining EHRs into nurse education, this allows for the improvement of patient care from many different angles. Mostly I feel this looks at the patient as a whole, promoting a patient-centered approach to care. By looking at the patients holistically, it allows for the patient to be at the forefront of treatment, taking into consideration, their preferences and needs, benefiting and involving them in their medical decision (IOM, 2011).

Inter-professional collaboration

EHRs ensure a safer practice, uniting all medical personnel, so preventing medical errors and benefiting the patient. This effective teamwork and pooling of computerized evidence-based information promotes new and more efficient ways of treatment for patient care but always having the patient in the center of their medical plan.


In conclusion, EHRs are invaluable in the care and treatment of our patients and their families. EHRs are patient-centered, providing a unique way to tell the individual’s story, utilizing teamwork, excellence and evidence-based practice into an individualized package.


Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2012) Electronic Health Records. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/E-Health/EHealthRecords/index.html

HealthIT.gov. (2013). What is an electronic health record (EHR)? Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/faqs/what-electronic-health-record-ehr

Institute of Medicine of the National Academics. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: a new health system for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2001/Crossing-the-Quality-Chasm/Quality%20Chasm%202001%20%20report%20brief.pdf

Knickman, J. R., & Kovner, A. R. (2015). Health care delivery in the United States (11th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Kowitlawakul, Y., Chan, S. W. C., Pulcini, J., Wang, W. R. (2015). Factors influencing nursing students’ acceptance of electronic health records for nursing education (EHRNE) software program Nurse Education Today. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/science/article/pii/S0260691714001944