Electronic Health Records (EHR) are the cause of a major force that is creating change in the health care industry. Dramatic changes, apprehension, excitement, along with fear and concern are the focus of a new era from paper charting to a new electronic health record system. Federal, state, regional and local governments are highly encouraging the adoption of electronic health records as well as the private sectors. The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, and the Administrator of the Centers of Medicare and Medical Services have all identified electronic health records as top priority. This research paper will examine benefits and challenges electronic health records face, along with resistance to change and fear many have toward this new system.
The transition from paper based charting to electronic base charting has shown to be very complex and difficult. Not many years ago there was only one method of keeping medical records and this was utilizing paper charts. These charts, although still used in many practices today, have slowly been replaced by a more advanced method called electronic health record or EHR. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), defines “electronic health records as an electronic version of a patient’s medical history, that is maintained by the provider over time, and may include demographics, progress notes, problems, medication, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports” (CMS.gov).
Although they are reliable, paper medical records are becoming a thing of the past, while electronic medical records are among one of the new advancements in our technological world. Both paper charts and electronic health records ultimately give clinicians and patients the same results, however; the journey is far from similar.
The journey for many seasonal nurses is fear of change or the sense of losing control over what was once in control. However, change in health care is inevitable, and information technology will only increase in the future. A survey in 2013 was conducted by AMN Health Care, Incorporated, showed electronic health records influence job satisfaction and productivity was much higher in younger age group than those of the older age group (AMN, 2013). Studies show that older nurses lack basic information technology skills such as; email, word processing, databases, and internet, thus making the use of electronic health records very difficult and placing a negative impact on the whole learning process. Attitudes change to negativism when frustration is high, making the education less effective, therefore the potential utilization of the electronic health record decreases (Fiato, K. 2012). Having prior experience in computer skills; electronic medical records has statically been proven to be very effective in creating positive attitude among clinians. There are many benefits that come along...