In the health context, medical providers are expected to expose patients to an enabling environment where they can access quality care, which addresses the medical problems affecting their health. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) play an essential role in improving healthcare and safety quality extended to patients and their immediate environment. The process of admitting a patient should be seamless and fast to increase the probability of survival for individuals in critical conditions. Therefore, highlighting the impact of EHR in the modern healthcare context will enable individuals to understand the importance of maximizing efficiency in the workplace, enhance healthcare quality, and improve care coordination.
Fig 1.0 A graphic representation of the Hospital Admission Process
Before admitting a patient, numerous processes occur to ascertain the doctor’s decision to book them for specialized care and treatment. Depending on the testing and diagnostic imaging outcomes, a patient is admitted if the physician feels uncertain about discharging them to receive home care. In this regard, an EHR system enhances the facility’s ability to take care of the patient’s ailing status by retrieving critical information used during the treatment regimen administration. Given that the hospital admission process consists of rigorous activities, introducing the EHR in a health facility will improve the nature of outcomes recorded in every step of the clinical process (Hribar, Read-Brown, Goldstein, Reznick, Lombardi, Parikh, & Chiang, 2018). Hence, this will increase the overall efficiency by allowing medical practitioners to schedule patients easily, renew medications, and check the patient out without any hindrances that affect their ability to generate positive results.
How EHR Supports the Admission Process
The adoption of an EHR system will provide an unlimited access to patient information and allow medical practitioners to verify their medical history while waiting for the physician’s approval. From this realization, the EHR innovation eliminations any irregular practices that affect the quality of relations between medical practitioners and the patients they are supposed to treat.
Waiting for Physician’s Approval
In this stage, the physicians use available information about the patient in the EHR system to evaluate their condition before proposing the adoption of strategic outcomes that complement the patient’s recovery process. Even as the patient’s condition may be worsening, they can only be admitted after the health issue affecting them is ascertained. At this point, the physician can request additional examinations if the available information about the patient is unclear.
Coordinating with the Admitting Department
Physicians convey information to the admitting department about the patient’s ability to recover and improve his or her health situation. Depending on the feedback from the conducted examinations, the physician may engage the admitting department through the EHR system to allocate a space in a specific ward that will cater the patient’s health needs.
Waiting for Approval from Admitting Department
After relaying the information to the admitting department, physicians wait for feedback regarding the health status of the patient and his or her ability to recover without being admitted. If the patient is found to be in a stable condition, an approval from the admitting department influences the next move made by the physician.
Leaving the ED
Leaving the emergency department is only approved if the patient’s condition stabilizes. The coordination between the admitting department and the physician through an EHR system promotes efficiency and reduces the time taken to admit the patient. Likewise, it enhances the probability of survival for many patients whose lives could be on the line due to the offline interactions between the physician and the admitting department.
After the patient has demonstrated significant improvement after the administration of care and pharmaceutical input, the nursing practitioner in charge of discharge validates the patient’s exit from the facility by checking the EHR database to establish whether they meet the discharge requirements. In this case, the EHR system allows the nursing practitioners to evaluate the patient’s recovery process and their reaction to the administered treatment regimen, which improves the health outcomes and quality of care provided by the facility to its patients (Tyagi, Fontenla, Zelefsky, Chong-Ton, Ostergren, Shah, & Hunt, 2017). EHR exposes health practitioners to a conducive environment where they can overcome different hindrances that affect their ability to dispense quality care and safety to patients.
How EHR Supports the Hospital Discharge Process
Discharge Decision Made by the Physician
After monitoring the patient’s health overtime, the physician makes informed decision that initiate the discharge process. The EHR system enables the physician to engage other medical practitioners to ascertain the overall health condition of the patient.
Preparation of Discharge Note
After evaluating the patient’s medical status, the physician prepares the discharge note to dismiss the affected person from the ward. By uploading this information on the EHR system, other medical practitioners can review the discharge note and determine the patient’s ability to recover outside the medical facility.
Further Processing of the Discharge Note by the Ward Secretary
The ward secretary reviews the discharge note after observing the patient’s health condition before validating and approving the physician’s decision to discharge the patient on the EHR system. Subsequent steps are influenced by the feedback obtained from the ward secretary regarding the patient’s ability to recover outside the medical facility (Zheng, Ratwani, & Adler-Milstein 2020).
Completed Discharge Summary
In the discharge summary signed by the physician, the patient is informed about the approaches he or she should embrace after leaving the medical facility. Likewise, the physician relies on the input of the ward secretary before issuing the patient with the discharge summary that indicates the prescription he or she should embrace after leaving the medical facility.
Handover of the Discharge Summary to the Patient
After the physician is convinced about the patient’s improving health status, discharging them from the ward is usually the best decision they can make. The state of the patient before leaving the ward is uploaded on the EHR system to enable medical practitioners during the patient’s future clinical visits.
Highlighting the impact of EHR in the modern healthcare context will enable individuals to understand the importance of maximizing efficiency in the workplace, enhance healthcare quality, and improve care coordination. Even though the provision of care is essential, maximizing efficiencies by eliminating various aspects that hinder the performance of employees is a critical dispensation that must be addressed in the modern healthcare context. Likewise, other processes such as diagnostic imaging, delivery of pharmaceuticals to the patient, and completing dialysis should create a viable solution that responds to the different patient problems affecting individuals in their surroundings. Therefore, the EHR system plays a critical in healthcare because of its ability to complement the clinical process that fosters the recovery process realized by a patient.
Hribar, M. R., Read-Brown, S., Goldstein, I. H., Reznick, L. G., Lombardi, L., Parikh, M., … & Chiang, M. F. (2018). Secondary use of electronic health record data for clinical workflow analysis. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(1), 40-46.
Tyagi, N., Fontenla, S., Zelefsky, M., Chong-Ton, M., Ostergren, K., Shah, N., … & Hunt, M. (2017). Clinical workflow for MR-only simulation and planning in prostate. Radiation Oncology, 12(1), 119.
Zheng, K., Ratwani, R. M., & Adler-Milstein, J. (2020). Studying workflow and workarounds in electronic health record–supported work to improve health system performance. Annals of Internal Medicine, 172(11_Supplement), S116-S122.