Electronic medical record (EMR) is the digital embodiment of the medical chart of a patient that includes but is not limited to health data on allergies, immunization, chronic conditions, and other information. EMR technology can be considered as crucial for a healthcare organization since it provides numerous research-based advantages such as error reduction, improved cost-effectiveness, and high quality of healthcare services. However, with a number of barriers on the way to successful EMR implementation, medical institutions face resistance from the stakeholders. The initial stage of implementation that often lowers productivity should not deter the organizational leadership as it is responsible for the essential improvement of performance. The measures to overcome these barriers are likely to benefit the stakeholders by ensuring the most effective EMR integration into the organizational framework.
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Utilizing Research within a Healthcare Organization
Research-based advantages of using EMR technology are mostly scientific and societal since they positively contribute to the researchers’ ability to conduct effective studies with the aim to benefit the population. By accessing computerized recordings, scholars could essentially save time when choosing the participants for their research or when conducting case control, cohort, or longitudinal studies. Similarly, the organization could benefit from the timely integration of the recent research findings in the treatment protocols. Johnson (2016) underlines the research-based benefits of EMR such as immediate renewal and transfer of data throughout large healthcare institutions. EMR technology informs the researchers about the statistically justified issues in prospective research. Moreover, EMR systems contribute to the improvement of data analysis (Johnson, 2016). Therefore, healthcare organizations can essentially benefit from EMR implementation in terms of the most recent advanced research application.
Benefits for Administration
Although EMR integration may present significant difficulties, it improves organizational framework. One of the major advantages of EMR technology for administration is that it aligns the existing information and allows its users to obtain the standardized data for the analysis of the most recent findings (Johnson, 2016). The potential modification of the technology is also beneficial since researchers can take an opportunity to integrate the evidence-based prompts into the system. An example of the beneficial utilization of the technology is the application of the statistically significant data needed to identify potential smokers who can quit this addiction (Johnson, 2016, p. 3). Therefore, by utilizing the corresponding research, the administration can inform the patient about the appearance of the desired opportunity and thus boost customer satisfaction. Administration can essentially benefit in terms of improved clinical management that is ensured through easier information access and more precise coding and billing (Khalifa, 2013). Being aware of the advantages, the leadership of a healthcare organization can utilize research to efficiently implement EMR technology and benefit from its integration.
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Importance of EMR for Stakeholders
Four interested parties or stakeholders are likely to benefit from the EMR implementation. The major stakeholders of healthcare organizations are healthcare providers, employers, patients, and taxpayers (Antilli & Vogenberg, 2015). First, patients benefit from the elimination of medical errors such as when laboratory data are lost or confused, or when allergy information is disregarded by mistake (Khalifa, 2013). The second group of beneficiaries is providers who take advantage of the enhanced information access and elimination of errors that support their smooth performance. The third and fourth parties of employers and taxpayers benefit mostly in financial terms. Thus, the easier and higher quality provision of healthcare services attracts patients, which allows to reduce costs (Khalifa, 2013). Overall productivity grows and benefits all groups of stakeholders.
Conversely, stakeholders influence the research utilization that originates from EMR implementation. While patients and providers are the central contributors to research utilization with their data and expertise respectively, the employers and taxpayers invest organizationally and financially. Hence, utilization of EMR-related research is mutually dependent on the contributions from major stakeholders.
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Recommendations on Implementation
Despite its considerable advantages, EMR implementation represents certain risks and barriers to flawless organizational performance. Research demonstrates that along with technical issues, human barriers to EMR implementation also play a significant role (Khalifa, 2013). Negative beliefs and conservative resistance of healthcare specialists represent the most influential obstacle to EMR integration (Khalifa, 2013). The initial introduction of EMR to the organizational performance is likely to become another obstacle since the level of productivity falls at first because of the users’ lack of skill (Johnson, 2016). Correspondingly, the costs increase initially, and they reduce only after the first year of EMR implementation (Bar-Dayan et al., 2015). Thus, this barrier disappears with time due to growing user awareness and expertise.
The issues that arise in relation to the drawbacks of EMR technology can be eliminated through the reasonable implementation. Hence, while expenditures on the EMR system integration as well as the possibility of errors are high, healthcare providers should adopt EMR technology with corresponding features that would allow them to eliminate these issues (Menachemi & Collum, 2011). Thus, EMR is convenient for standardized data collection and storing, while specific information is not applicable without integration of additional settings that can reduce the system’s efficiency (Johnson, 2016, p. 4). Consequently, corresponding error-reducing features would benefit the implementation attempt.
Based on the research concerning EMR implementation, the following recommendations should be considered to ensure quality system integration into the existing organizational framework. First, the major barrier of human resistance could be overcome through training aimed at raising the awareness and improving technological knowledge of healthcare professionals (Khalifa, 2013). The second pivotal obstacle to EMR implementation is the lack of funding (Khalifa, 2013). Healthcare institutions could overcome this issue through the sufficient initial capitals investments (Khalifa, 2013). Khalifa (2013) asserts that stakeholders also have certain privacy concerns, so the organization has to develop regulatory guidelines to prevent information leakage. Consequently, such barriers as human resistance, lack of finances, legal concerns, and operational issues can be overcome through the reasonable approach of the leadership.
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EMR technology is the recent advancement in health care that essentially benefits all the stakeholders. Implementation of EMR system into the organizational framework allows healthcare institutions to transfer information, improve data analysis, and immediately integrate the most recent research findings into the treatment opportunities. Administration benefits from the alignment of the information within the system, easy availability of any standardized data, integration of evidence-based research, and enhanced clinical management. Apart from the administration, other stakeholders also obtain significant advantages, such as error reduction, improved productivity, and higher quality of healthcare services. By eliminating professional, operational, legal, and financial barriers, organizations can effectively reap the major advantages of EMR technology.