Electronic health records, a subset of health information technology, are increasingly viewed as tools that help enhance health systems’ safety, efficacy, and quality. These technologies can provide practitioners with real-time decision support, making crucially important clinical information more accessible and significantly reducing unnecessary testing. Still, many practitioners find it challenging to integrate health information technology (HIT) methodically into their clinical operations. HIT implementation has the potential to improve clinical outcomes, reduce the costs associated with providing health care, and increase the productivity of health care personnel.
This study examines essential health policy concerns regarding implementing HIT. In the United States, the acceptance and deployment of electronic health record (EHR) systems have increased significantly over the past several years. However, not all health care facilities and hospitals have adopted such a system. This study aims to understand better the critical concerns with HIT adoption in physician practice settings and evaluate the role of the MSN-level nurse in the adoption process.
Principal Policy Concerns Regarding Health
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, generally known as the HITECH Act, is one of the vital driving factors underlying the development of state HITs, which are meant to facilitate the sharing of healthcare information among various healthcare organizations. A range of policy considerations and criteria must be investigated before properly implementing these exchanges (Esmaeilzadeh & Mirzaei, 2019). Patients’ routines and opinions regarding clinicians and their role in managing their health are diverse. Changing these patterns by requesting greater accountability and participation is a difficult challenge. Patients can track their health objectives utilizing mobile and web applications.
Whether stored electronically or on paper, most healthcare-related data is retained in “silos.” Patients may be part of a health system or see a physician that utilizes advanced electronic health records (EHRs), but it is doubtful that the information from these advanced systems will be accessible if the patient requires care at another facility. It is vital to have access to clinical information across all aspects of healthcare, anytime and wherever it is required, in order to improve service quality (Bell, 2018). However, neither doctors nor individual health plans have financial incentives to make this initiative a reality. There may be significant disadvantages for early adopters, as it is likely that they will incur the first costs without receiving the benefits that would flow once the rest of society adopts the technology.
Access to wireless networks is becoming necessary for medical workers working in today’s most advanced medical institutions. The requirement to update older buildings to support and enable wireless connections is a structural obstacle that could result in substantial additional expenses for healthcare administration. The most viable system will combine a vast area network with several access points. Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is called HIPAA Compliance. HIPAA Compliance is concerned with maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ personal and medical information. Protecting patient privacy should be a key responsibility for all healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, healthcare organizations, and other healthcare personnel (Bell, 2018). However, privacy concerns arise whether a patient’s medical information is maintained on paper or electronically. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, paper records are at least as risky as their computerized counterparts. Unfortunately, flawless security is impossible to establish due to human curiosity, which can cause even the most sophisticated security mechanisms to misfire. Healthcare workers must establish a culture that prioritizes confidentiality and privacy.
Role of MSN Nurses in HIT Adoption Process
MSN-educated nurses are comprehensively aware of the various health care policies; thus, they play an essential role in implementing HIT systems. Engaging MSN nurses in establishing health policies such as HIPAA and HITECH is precious. Executing these concepts is essential for creating trustworthy, interoperable HIT systems that can safeguard a patient’s medical records. The argument presented here is that nurses spend a significant amount of time daily interacting with health information systems, which indicates that MSN nurses are more familiar with the overall system due to their combination of technical knowledge and nursing skills (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). In addition, nurses with master’s degrees in nursing (MSN) have been substantially more engaged in advanced health informatics than other medical professionals. Due to their proficiency in information technology, information systems, data science, and computer science, they are the best medical practitioners to lead the adoption and decision-making processes of health information technology (HIT).
Regarding selecting which HIT systems are the most relevant and dependable, this degree of experience is beyond reproach. Their expertise is also necessary for the data filtering process, which determines which pieces of information should be included in the selected health system. Standardized data and language are vital to the creation and deployment of health information systems in order to maintain interoperability, which can aid healthcare providers in diagnosing and devising treatment plans for patients (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). It is one reason why consistent data and terminology are so crucial. MSN-prepared nurses are obligated to work toward the development of standardized health information systems in order to enhance the quality of patient care and outcomes.
Although it cannot solve all of medicine’s problems, information technology in healthcare has the potential to improve both the overall quality of care and the individual experience of each patient. Patients have the potential to play an essential role in the management of their healthcare data, despite the tremendous obstacles that stand in the way of the widespread implementation of HIT. The utilization of HIT results in improvements in patient care and the contentment of nursing staff. As a result, efficient nursing management has the potential to positively influence the successful development, implementation, and utilization of HIT.
Bell, K. (2018). Public policy and Health Informatics. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 34(2), 184–187.
Esmaeilzadeh, P., & Mirzaei, T. (2019). The potential of blockchain technology for Health Information Exchange: Experimental Study from patients’ perspectives. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(6).
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing Informatics and the foundation of knowledge. Jones & Bartlett Learning.