Frequent and effective nursing research is essential for healthcare practitioners and healthcare organizations because it encourages improved care. Through nursing research, nurse practitioners are able to identify work-related issues that jeopardize patient safety or subject nursing care to risks. This essay is a nursing research utilization project proposal that identifies a work-related clinical issue and proposes a viable solution to help address the problem effectively.
The problem or clinical issue identified that needs a solution is the issue of poor communication among healthcare practitioners within healthcare facilities. Healthcare facilities frequently report cases of medication errors and adverse effects resulting from poor communication between nurse-nurse and nurse-physician during practice. Poor communication between healthcare professionals Jeopardizes the patient’s safety and care.
Importance of the Problem
Communication plays a vital role in healthcare facilities ensuring the provision of high quality healthcare, which enhances patient care and safety. Effective communication between nurse practitioners and physicians encourages teamwork resulting into proper medical administration, improved patient care, and reduced medication errors that expose patients to adverse effects (Woods, Thomas & Holl, 2005). The communication between clinicians affects patient outcomes and safety (Wanzer, Booth-Butterfield, & Gruber, 2004). This implies that effective communication is essential for healthcare professionals to offer quality patient care. On the contrary, poor communication leads to patient harm, malpractice suits, occurrence of avoidable errors, and patient complaints that result in punitive measures.
Woods, Thomas, and Holl (2005) provide that approximately 70,000 children experience adverse conditions annually resulting from poor communication among healthcare practitioners. Those adverse conditions cause extended hospital stay and disability at discharge, and yet 60 percent of them are preventable. This makes poor communication an important healthcare work-related issue. Achieving improved communication across healthcare team is complex. This can be attributed to relentless demands put on health care practitioners that threaten a culture of collegiality and effective communication.
Kirby (2010) provides that the impediments to effective communication within healthcare facilities exist at all levels of patient care. They are sometimes deliberate forcing health care practitioners to deal with exasperating communication problems frequently. The barriers include stress, exhaustion, professional dissatisfaction, and depression. At a glance, it seems difficult to eliminate them and achieve health care systems free from communication problems, but careful evaluation reveals that it is possible to eliminate them (The Victorian Quality Council, 2010).
Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is to persuade healthcare professionals to adopt technology systems such as EMR within their systems to improve patient care.
Proposed Solution to Healthcare Communication Problems
To solve the problem of communication among healthcare practitioners, an electronic solution is recommended. The use of electronic medical records (EMR) will ensure that all the patients’ clinical records are consolidated to form one source of truth. In addition, EMR will enhance the availability of patient information or shared patient information, increase teamwork, and simplify the integration of healthcare communication systems.
Issues of poor communication resulting from bad communication channels/systems within healthcare facilities are supposed to be a forgotten case in the 21st century. With technology, healthcare facilities can adopt and integrate electronic medical records into their systems. Electronic medical records enhance teamwork and efficiency by aligning daily patient care and organizational activities (Kirby, 2010). This automatically, improves communication between healthcare practitioners, which, in turn, improves patient safety, and care. In addition, EMR enhances the delivery of high quality care because it ensures real-time information processing and collegiality between clinicians. This reduces incidences of medication errors or delayed medication, thus improving patient care. By ensuring the efficiency of clinical care, EMR promotes consolidation of workflow and data, visualization, and quality of care. With EMR, issues of stress, depression, poor coordination, and nonstandard terminology, which hinder effective communication among healthcare professionals, are eliminated.
Consistence of the Proposed Solution with Current Research
Technology integration in healthcare facilities is a current health care reform many healthcare facilities are striving to achieve. The reason for ICT integration is to improve patient care enormously, and reduce the burden of paper work which derails health care service delivery. Electronic medical records and health information systems ensure that the patient’s data is accurately handled and processed. This is consistent with current research on the ways in which patient care can be improved through technology.
Feasibility of Implementing EMR
It is feasible to implement the proposed solution in the work-setting because health care systems are committed to developing technology enhanced systems in order to improve quality of patient care, patient safety, and reduce medication cost. Implementing EMR will reduce the patients’ financial cost, increase health care credibility, and help healthcare practitioners to deliver faster and quality care. The initial cost of implementing EMR might be high, but the benefits accompanying its adoption and integration in healthcare are by far better than the cost of maintaining paperwork. The system is likely to register returns on investment if adequately implemented. Furthermore, there is plenty of certified electronic health record products on the market to enhance EMR adoption.
Consistency of EMR with the Organizational Culture and Resources
This solution is consistent with any 21st century healthcare organization, which is technology oriented. Transforming manual medical records into electronic to utilize the available opportunities, which come with technology improves health care, the ultimate goal of healthcare facilities. Moreover, healthcare organizations have enough resources to support the adoption and integration of the EMR within their systems. Therefore, Integrating EMR with the hospital information communication technology is consistent with the organizational change culture and resources.
Kirby, S. G. (2010). Communication among healthcare professionals: An essential component of quality care. Web.
O’Malley, S, Cohen, R., & Grossman, J. (2010). Electronic Medical Records and Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians: Are We Talking Less? Web.
The Victorian quality council (2010).Promoting effective communication among healthcare professionals to improve patient safety and quality of care. Web.
Wanzer, M. B., Booth-Butterfield, M. & Gruber, K. (2004). Perceptions of health care providers’ communication: Relationships between patient-centered communication and satisfaction. Health Care Communication, 16 (3), 363-384.
Woods, D.M., Thomas, E.J., & Holl, J. (2005). Adverse events and preventable adverse events in children. Pediatrics, 115, 155-160.