Skylux hospital is still relying on a manual records management system that is pegged with challenges. Patient information often gets destroyed, and retrieval takes a long. Besides, a recent report released by the county health office showed that Skylux reported the highest number of medical errors. Against the backdrop of these challenges, the management has decided to acquire an electronic health records system. However, the hospital is aware of the transition’s issues among its staff and other stakeholders. Involving stakeholders, developing a communication plan, and potentially mitigating risks are vital for successfully implementing changes proposed by Skylux management.
Description of the Change
Due to the challenges faced by the hospital, research was commissioned to identify gaps in the current system. One of the recommendations was the need for an electronic health record. In response to this, the management is in the process of adopting electronic health records. The system will digitize hospital operations and eliminate paperwork. The proposed system is set to digitize drug prescription and record management. The implementation will affect all departments handling patient records. The hospital management has already identified a vendor for the software that will facilitate a smooth transition through the involvement of all stakeholders. Therefore, the changes involve a transition from manual records management to a digital platform.
The proposed electronic health records application would promote collaboration among staff from various departments. The system will also enhance efficiency in service delivery and boost productivity (Bae, J., & Encinosa, 2016). Besides, the system will enhance patient advocacy by allowing patients to access their information online. HER will support clinical decisions and ensure faster access to lab results by doctors (Patterson et al., 2019). This system will affect the management, clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, and patients, as well as hospital suppliers. While this transformation is projected to bring a positive change to the hospital, its transition has to consider all factors to mitigate associated risks, such as change management.
Scope of the Proposed Change
The proposed EHR will cover eight functions that include patient health data, order management, results management, patient support, and clinical decision support. Besides, the system will support electronic communication, report generation, and administrative processes. The patient record function will ensure the safe storage and retrieval of information. The results function will enhance access to lab results and also provide a patient feedback mechanism about service delivery (Adler-Milstein & Jha, 2017). It will also support the decision-making process through reminders and informative interactions with clinicians on doses and disease symptoms. The proposed system will also cover administrative functions such as new customer registration, besides allowing for report generation to support faster data analysis and decision-making. Therefore, the new system is limited to the core mandate of the hospital, covering all the functions promoting patient care.
The key stakeholders are physicians, nurses, pharmacists, front office staff, the billing department, patients, and the management. The nurses provide critical care to patients, including administering prescriptions that will be electronically prescribed. The physicians will diagnose diseases with the help of EHR and prescribe electronically. Pharmacists receive and manage medication orders from doctors before sending the medication to nurses for administration. The front office staff is critical in entering patient data and updating any new information. The management plays a central role in ensuring smooth operations using the EHR.
Change Management Team
The team will comprise the Chief Information Officer, nursing director, project director, project sponsors, pharmacy director, patient relationship manager, chief medical officer, and front office manager. Besides, there will be a standby communications officer to add to the team. Thus, the team will comprise members across the various departments earmarked to be affected by the transition.
The process starts with setting up a project committee and assigning roles to each member. The next step is to ensure that each member understands the change process. The communication plan must justify the need for the changes and allay fears. Besides, the plan should be as involved as possible. A good plan should also anticipate resistance and thus include a response. Therefore, the communication plan will include roles and anticipated risks.
Risk Mitigation Plans
The project is likely to face management risks as staff will fear job loss and lack of skills. The risk will be mitigated through involvement and communication (Moll & Rexhepi, 2020). All the stakeholders shall be engaged in the process, and their inputs incorporated.
Their second risk pertains to resources and hospital capacity to implement the changes. The risk shall be mitigated at the start of the project through comprehensive feasibility studies and cost-benefit analysis.
Skills gap risks
The risk of ending up with a system that users do not know how to operate shall be addressed through IT support training and hiring (Smith et al., 2020).
Adler-Milstein, J., & Jha, A. K. (2017). HITECH Act drove large gains in hospital electronic health record adoption. Health Affairs, 36(8), 1416-1422.
Bae, J., & Encinosa, W. E. (2016). National estimates of the impact of electronic health records on the workload of primary care physicians. BMC health services research, 16(1), 1-11.
Moll, J., & Rexhepi, H. (2020). The effect of patient accessible electronic health records on communication and involvement in care–a national patient survey in Sweden. In Digital Personalized Health and Medicine (pp. 1056-1060). IOS Press.
Patterson, B. W., Pulia, M. S., Ravi, S., Hoonakker, P. L., Hundt, A. S., Wiegmann, D.,… & Carayon, P. (2019). Scope and influence of electronic health record–integrated clinical decision support in the emergency department: a systematic review. Annals of emergency medicine, 74(2), 285-296.
Smith, W. R., Atala, A. J., Terlecki, R. P., Kelly, E. E., & Matthews, C. A. (2020). Implementation guide for rapid integration of an outpatient telemedicine program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 231(2), 216-222.