The evaluation plan presentation titled “Technology and Patient Safety” covers the topic of implementing electronic health records (EHRs) in acute care hospitals with the purpose of decreasing errors. Within the proposed PICOT question, the effectiveness of EHRs implementation was compared to paper charting as a method for tracking medication prescriptions as well as preventing the occurrence of medication mistakes and the subsequent adverse patient outcomes. Due to the great potential of the project in improving patient outcomes, some questions regarding the funding and administrative areas of the program should be posed.
From the perspective of the program’s funder, the following questions should be answered:
- What is the projected cost of implementing an EHR at the facility? What are the costs of purchasing hardware and software as well as insurance?
- Is the EHR provider/vendor is reliable enough in terms of continuous service provision and software updating and troubleshooting?
- Are there any financial penalties imposed for breaking a contract with an EHR provider/vendor?
- What are the cost/benefit projections for implementing an EHR at the facility for over six months?
- How many facilities have demonstrated a return on investment (ROI) after introducing EHRs?
The questions above were chosen from the perspective of the program’s funder because the answers to them will allow showing whether the introduction of electronic health records is cost-effective and is worth the investment. There may be different ways in which EHR systems are funded as well as various vendors with their own rates and conditions, and it is essential to understand the financial implications of funding the project (WHO, 2016). From the perspective of a hospital CIO, the following questions can be asked:
- What are the staff training implications associated with EHR introduction?
- What are the examples of successful EHR implementation at actual acute care facilities?
- What happens in case of a data breach or emergency? Is patient information safe?
- How often is the software should be updated, and who is responsible for it?
- Should an implementation team be assigned to the project? How many staff members are needed?
The questions above are aimed at shedding light on the administrative part of EHR implementation at the facility. For example, it is important to know whether the staff should be trained and how it should be trained as well as whether a new team should be formed (Glaser, 2020). In addition, success stories and examples of real-life hospitals implementing EHRs can show whether the project is worth it.
Overall, the plan to implement an EHR system in an acute healthcare setting to reduce medication errors has great potential. It is notable that the evaluation includes considerations of both positive and negative implications of EHR use in the target healthcare setting because it presents some challenges. For example, it is essential to consider the impact of the human factor on the ease of systems’ use, the skills necessary for successful implementation, user awareness, and other aspects. One of the major issues associated with EHR introduction is the lack of staff preparedness and resistance to change, which are being mitigated through additional training of personnel (Gesulga et al., 2017). The evaluation plan should consider this issue in detail and propose a plan for mitigating change resistance when implementing an EHR at an acute care facility.
Gesulga, J., Berjame, A., Moquiala, K., & Galido, A. (2017). Barriers to electronic health record system implementation and information systems resources: A structured review. Procedia Computer Science, 124, 544-551.
Glaser, J. (2020). It’s time for a new kind of electronic health record. Harvard Business Review. Web.
WHO. (2016). From innovation to implementation. eHealth in the WHO European region. Web.