Health IT Patient Safety Guides
Health information technology has played a vital role in enhancing patient data gathering, storing, and sharing. Evidence-based strategies in varied degrees have demonstrated the effect of health IT on enhancing patient safety outcomes. The patient’s safety is improved from various angles, including lowering medical errors that can occasionally worsen the patient’s condition and reducing drug side effects, improving compliance with other forms of treatment and medication compliance. Notably, avoidable hospital errors and infections are significant factors in serious patient injury and mortality (Zegers et al., 2020). The Team STEPPs nursing informatics guides and the HealthIT.gov website’s discussion of patient safety hazards are used in this article to examine Knox Community Hospital’s strategy.
Health IT.gov SAFER Guides
The website offers guidance on how healthcare institutions may safeguard and advance the security of electronic health records (EHR). The nine instructions provided by the website are all included in the three main sections of the guidance (“HealthIT.gov,” 2018). SAFER, or Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience, promotes nursing informatics and enables care responsibility.
The SAFER Guides’ Phases and Recommendations for Action
Foundational, infrastructure, and clinical process guides are the three phases. They offer the overarching framework created by HealthIT.gov to guarantee that the EHR operates without hiccups and is protected from security risks related to patient health informatics.
Two guidelines—high-priority practices and organizational responsibilities—are part of the first phase (foundational) (“HealthIT.gov,” 2018). The first highlights the top priorities and hazards, demonstrating suggestions for safe use and EHR optimization. In order to complete this manual, the healthcare organization must put together a multidisciplinary safety team that would be in charge of identifying the problems to be addressed first and the process protocol. Practicalities like updates, configurations, and maintenance, as well as standard techniques like leadership, workflow, and policies, are useful in addressing the risks and additional issues developed during the EHR’s planning, deployment, and maintenance phases. This manual allows the EHR safety team to concentrate on the risks and difficulties associated with the socio-technical complications.
The second guide is organizational responsibility, which discusses how roles, tasks, responsibilities, and processes are distributed among people inside an organization. Therefore, analyzing human behavior and relationships is a crucial area of concern because the implementation phase of an EHR requires the involvement of individuals and specialists in particular fields. According to studies, approximately 400,000 Americans die annually due to hospital safety issues (Glover, 2020).
Three guides are covered in this phase: system interfaces, contingency planning, and system configuration. When software and hardware infrastructure fail, natural or artificial disasters, and power outages, the contingency guide covers the planned and unexpected procedures (“HealthIT.gov,” 2018). This guide tackles the effects after malfunctions by controlling the systems and ensuring the uninterrupted flow of operations. The system setup guide covers the hardware and software aspects of setting up the EHR, including creating the operational environment and integrating infrastructure into the workflow.
Clinical Process Phase
This final phase consists of four guides; the first is patient identification, which entails correctly identifying patients and entering their data into the Electronic Health Record. Second, computerized provider order entry (CPOE) with decision assistance enhances medication safety by offering clinicians who electronically order consultations and diagnostic testing a route for communication. The Knox Community Hospital lacks adequate Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems that recognize and notify doctors of potentially dangerous circumstances (Fisher et al., 2018). Adequate technology-integrated planning, maintenance, and implementation programs are necessary for the deployment of CPOE.
The test results reporting and follow-up guide are in the following document. It primarily focuses on safety procedures related to assessing diagnostic test findings connected to EHR technology (“HealthIT.gov,” 2018). The aspects of test results processes are precisely established through this guide. Diagnosis procedures are delicate and necessitate accurate results and proper patient information dissemination. Clinical communication, the last rule in this phase, calls for safe EHR usage in clinical conversations. Because the procedures involved in this element are intricate, it can be necessary to divide them into manageable chunks. Safe clinician communication is a result of proper EHR deployment.
Self-evaluation and Appraisal of possible health IT-related patient safety risks
The team leaders analyze the self-evaluation once completed, and one team member is suggested for an additional partial assessment, which may disclose another unidentified patient safety issue (“HealthIT.gov,” 2018). A checklist that aids in prioritizing what is relevant to the organizations should be included in each guide. A risk manager or the office manager at Knox community hospital can evaluate the list. The team chosen to implement the EHR assesses some firms, while in others, it is conducted through team member evaluation. Moreover, implementing the SAFER guidelines in the EHR necessitates safeguarding patient data and considering ethical principles (Dhillon-Chattha et al., 2020). The informatics nurse is responsible for ensuring that the patient’s confidentiality is protected during the distribution or sharing of the patient’s information.
Action Plan to Implement Team STEPPS
A team leader can use the Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (STEPPS) curriculum to train the medical team’s members for the execution of a specific program that aims to improve current practices or procedures (Beiler et al., 2019). Team STEPPS is part of the EHR implementation process to improve patient safety and the standard of care. The simulation-based training would be the Team STEPPS program to deploy throughout the implementation phase of EHR. The goal of this option would be to raise the standard of healthcare professionals’ education, which would impact their feeling about the system’s incorporation into the organization’s care delivery models. The STEPPS guide is a crucial instrument used in nursing institutes to develop team-based healthcare systems from the ground up.
Training end users on EHR adoption greatly facilitate clinical care delivery; thus, every organization must offer a uniform learning plan that every staff member may become familiar with and incorporate into their everyday activities (Beiler et al., 2019). In order to reduce the hazards involved with using actual patients, it is essential to choose simulators for training. This paradigm enables the entire team to thoroughly analyze clinical competence and skill levels while determining EHR safety. To remove potential confounds and promote innovative thinking that is effective in real-world situations, the simulation workstations should be functionally and aesthetically similar to those of the other clinical contexts. Additionally, it significantly impacts how the EHR transitions from theory to implementation and analysis.
In summation, the EHR system is an essential tool for enhancing patient safety since it saves time, protects patient information, and lowers medical errors. The Knox community hospital should Create effective CPOE systems because it has been demonstrated that they increase patient safety and decrease medication errors. The right to information privacy belongs to every patient. In cases when sharing is required, the patient must permit it per federal legislation and the organization’s adherence to its principles. SAFER provides guidelines through which healthcare organizations and professionals may adjust during the deployment of EHR, which is related to several risk factors based on the kind of organization, the services rendered, and its scale.
“HealthIT.gov.” (2018, November 28). Safer guides. SAFER Guides | HealthIT.gov. https://www.healthit.gov/topic/safety/safer-guides
Beiler, J., Opper, K., & Weiss, M. (2019). Integrating research and quality improvement using TeamSTEPPS: A health team communication project to improve hospital discharge. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 33(1), 22-32.
Dhillon-Chattha, P., McCorkle, R., & Borycki, E. (2018). An evidence-based tool for safe configuration of electronic health records: The eSafety checklist. Applied clinical informatics, 9(04), 817–830.
Fisher, A. M., Mtonga, T. M., Espino, J. U., Jonkman, L. J., Connor, S. E., Cappella, N. K., & Douglas, G. P. (2018, September 10). User-centered design and usability testing of RxMAGIC: A prescription management and General Inventory Control System for free clinic dispensaries – BMC Health Services Research. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12913-018-3517-8
Glover, S. L. (2020). Leadership Styles, Safety Culture Elements, and Serious Safety Events: An Empirical Investigation Within a Healthcare System (Doctoral dissertation, Hood College).
Zegers, M., Hanskamp‐Sebregts, M., Wollersheim, H., & Vincent, C. (2020). Patient safety strategies. Improving patient care: Implementing change in health care, 275-298.