Need for a Health Information Professional
The introduction of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system into the environment of a healthcare organization is a crucial step needed to ensure that patient data is promptly and effectively managed without being lost in the process. Studies show that the use of the EHR framework has produced vast improvements in the healthcare setting and affected the rate of patient recovery (Ma, Stahl, & Knotts, 2018). However, the proposed change implies the need to manage data in an entirely different manner. Therefore, the services of a Health Information Professional (HIP) are required. In the long term, the maintenance of the EHR system and the management of information within the system will require professional assistance.
The proposed change also allows complying with the established incentive program, which encourages the development of EHR management skills for staff members. The introduction of EHR-related tasks into the healthcare environment has been fraught with multiple complexities due to the lack of appropriate skills among nurses and the reluctance to change that many staff members have been demonstrating in nursing (). The introduction of the support of a HIP will allow addressing the described concern and assisting nurses to transition to using the EHR framework for managing patient-related information. To ensure that the right professional is hired, a series of tests will be offered for a candidate to pass in order to prove their ability to manage patient data.
Financial Impact of Hiring a Health Information Professional
Using the services of a HIP is expected to lead to an increase in the organization’s income in the long term. However, to make the needed steps to improve the quality of the EHR system, the organization will need to take certain expenses. Reconsidering the current budget to pay the salary to a HIP will be the key immediate change in the hospital’s financial system, which will amount to roughly $105,000 per year (“6 highest health information management job salaries,” 2016). The proposed change will allow closing the knowledge gap associated with the management of the EHR system.
Moreover, the gaps in the understanding of the resources needed to sustain the EHR system and ensure that the security of patients’ data remains at the needed high level will be closed. The introduction of the services provided by a HIP will inform the rest of the healthcare staff and especially healthcare managers about the resources needed to keep the EHR framework functioning. Therefore, the functions of a HIP will include the collection, processing, and further use of patient data to improve outcomes of interventions and therapies.
The described functions align with the organizational needs, particularly, the need to incorporate the EHR system into the workplace processes and helping staff members to navigate the EHR framework freely. By using the services of a HIP, one will make the EHR system run effectively and without errors, while staff members will receive extensive information about using the EHR system in managing patient data. Thus, the vision and mission of the organization, which include improvement in healthcare services and continuous education of nurses, will be met.
Justification and Recommendations for Hiring a Health Information Professional
There is presently a strong need in managing patients’ records and personal data with greater efficacy and precision so that the processes of diagnosing a health concern, locating treatment options, and implementing the selected healthcare intervention could be performed successfully. Due to problems in managing the personal data of patients, healthcare staff members become prone to medical errors and difficulties in transferring patients’ information during handoffs (Kluge, 2016). However, the introduction of an EHR system has not contributed to the resolution of the issue since a vast majority of the nursing staff is unaware of how it should be used and maintained properly. Herein lies the significance of hiring a HIP, who will support the EHR system and guide staff members through its use.
Skills and Training for the New Health Information Professional
Programming knowledge is the most obvious requirement that an HP will have to meet in order to manage the critical tasks within the EHR framework successfully. The presence of programming skills in a HIP will allow implementing the essential goals associated with patient treatment (Ma et al., 2018). In addition, in-depth knowledge of health data systems, in general, will be required to ensure that the candidate can handle the key tasks without jeopardizing the well-being of patients (Marshall, 2017).
The understanding of how health data systems work will allow a HIP to provide statistical information that will define the selection of strategies in addressing public health issues (Adeleke, Lawal, Adio, & Adebisi, 2015). Problem-solving should also be deemed as an essential qualification that a HIP will have to meet to address concerns emerging within the EHR system (Hovenga & Grain, 2016). Finally, the use of interpersonal skills and the ability to engage in a cross-disciplinary dialogue with nurses, healthcare practitioners, and other members of the hospital staff will be required.
Communicating the Need for and Job Requirements of a Health Information Professional
In order to manage EHR within a hospital setting and prompt the active learning of working in the EHR context, one will need the assistance of a HIP. Given the vastly negative implications of the errors that staff members make when handling the processes within the EHR framework, the support of a qualified expert will allow improving the quality of healthcare extensively. As a result, the extent of healthcare service efficacy and, ultimately, the rate of recovery among inpatients will rise.
Thus, it is critical to hire a HIP, who will manage the tasks with which healthcare experts are unfamiliar, simultaneously prompting gradual acquisition of EHR-related skills development among employees. It is believed that the introduction of the HIP services into the context of the hospital will allow reducing the rates of medical errors and the instances of mismanaging patients’ data during handoffs and similar hospital procedures. For this reason, hiring a HIP should be deemed as the next critical step toward improving the quality of healthcare.
The process of managing the EHR system and the associated tasks may be difficult for staff members, causing them to make mistakes, which is why the support of a HIP is crucial for maintaining the EHR system’s functioning. As a HIP, one will need to perform the tasks associated with programming and the support of data management systems. Moreover, with the assistance of a highly qualified HIP, nurse education and the increase in EHR management proficiency among nurses will be observed. Hus, the performance of staff members and the quality of healthcare services are expected to improve with the use of the services of a HIP in managing the hospital EHR system.
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Adeleke, I. T., Lawal, A. H., Adio, R. A., & Adebisi, A. A. (2015). Information technology skills and training needs of health information management professionals in Nigeria: A nationwide study. Health Information Management Journal, 44(1), 30-38. Web.
Hovenga, E., & Grain, H. (2016). Learning, training and teaching of health Informatics and its evidence for informaticians and clinical practice. Evidence-Based Health Informatics, 222, 336-354. Web.
Kluge, E. H. W. (2016). The health information professional in eHealth: Ethical considerations for an interjuristical setting. TOJSAT, 6(2), 82-86.
Marshall, A. (2017). The role of the health information professional. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 34(4), 293-295. Web.
Ma, J., Stahl, L., & Knotts, E. (2018). Emerging roles of health information professionals for library and information science curriculum development: A scoping review. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 106(4), 432. Web.