The Impact of Electronic Health Records on Pediatric Patient Flow
September 24, 2014
HCM-500 Healthcare Informatics
4-1 Case Study: EMR Implementation and Patient Flow
The goal of integrating to the use of electronic health records (EHRs) is to improve quality and reduce costs, however, these systems experience a number of challenges. Electronic health records are computerized paper charts that allow hospitals and medical facilities to compile patient information into one system. This case assesses the effect of employing EHR on “overall patient length of stay, time to medical provider, and provider productivity during implementation of the EHR” (Kennebeck, 2011, ...view middle of the document...
An emergency department is a fascinating site to perform this case due to the effect of crowding on timeliness of patient care. At the time of the report, the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 was occurring and an alternative care site to the emergency department (ED) was used to treat low acuity patients. The study took place at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which is “an urban pediatric level 1 trauma center” at “a teaching hospital with residents supervised by pediatric emergency medicine providers” (Kennebeck, 2011, p. 444). Throughout the implementation, staffing was increased and EHR support staff was used throughout implementation.
Data was used to observe the care of patients that visited the ED both during the implementation of the electronic system and a year later. In addition, data was collected from physicians efficiency and productivity before implementation, during, and afterwards. Finally, data was taken to evaluate length of patient stay, number of patient visits, time to room, and time to see a provider (Kennebeck, 2011, 444). It is imperative to identify whether the implementation of electronic systems increased the quality of patient care. The implementation phase appeared to have a negative effect on many of the variables studied, including length of stay. However, within the first three months, these numbers dropped.
Even with employing more staff to assist with the EHR implementation, the hospital still faced challenges involved with patient care. It is clear that having extra help is necessary during the implementation of electronic systems into an emergency department is necessary. Even having the additional healthcare unit to take patients with flu like symptoms, patient visit metrics were negatively impacted throughout the implementation phase (Kennebeck, 2011, p. 445). This information shows other emergency departments the trials that may occur during the implementation of an EHR. However, the data appears to be temporary, lasting three months before falling back to pre-implementation numbers.
The goal of the electronic system is to improve patient flow within...