Technology and Budget Issues
The article “Clinical Benefits of Electronic Health Record Use” attempts to investigate physician perceptions about the impacts or outcomes that can be associated with the implementation and use of electronic health registers (EHRs). The study’s justification is nested on the importance of understanding physician views of EHR usefulness because such knowledge could be instrumental in influencing the decision made by healthcare professionals on whether to adopt and use the health registers (King, Patel, Jamoom, & Furukawa, 2014). This justification rightly points to the fact that the adoption and use of technology in healthcare contexts depend on the perceptions held by those expected to apply the technology in practice environments. The present paper attempts to relate the findings of the article to several issues associated with budgetary management in nursing.
The findings of the study are clear that most healthcare professionals have positive perceptions of the use of EHRs in healthcare settings. Specifically, the results demonstrate that most physicians hold a positive perception that EHR use not only enhances patient care but also assists in the administration and management of care. Through the use of EHRs, physicians are able to access patients’ charts remotely, receive alerts to potential medication errors, identify critical laboratory values, provide recommended care, order appropriate tests, and facilitate patient communication (King et al., 2014). Since nursing managers are accountable for budgetary issues at all levels, including allocating funds for equipment and suppliers, it is important that they develop the capacity to assess how the adoption of technological processes influences care delivery (Townsend, Wilkinson, & Keller, 2015). In the reviewed article, it is evident that technology use is associated with positive perceptions that can act to improve the quality of care provided in healthcare organizations, minimize medication error, and encourage patient communication. These are immense benefits that justify the adoption and use of EHRs in clinical settings.
Available nursing scholarship demonstrates that the budgeting process not only avails an enabling environment for planning and control, but also provides an opportunity for nurse leaders to identify overall goals and to specify the unit’s direction (Bergh, Friberg, Perrson, & Dahlborg-Lyckhage, 2015). Since the reviewed article demonstrates a correlation between the adoption of technology (EHRs) and positive physician perceptions in terms of enhancing patient care and reducing medication errors (King et al., 2014), it is important for nurse leaders to use their knowledge in the budget process to ensure that their respective units are guided toward the adoption and use of health registers and other technology solutions. For example, nurse managers can use the information contained in the article to identify the objectives for including nurse training on the use of EHRs in the budgetary process, hence ensuring that nurses will have the capacity to enhance patient care, reduce medication errors, provide recommended care, and facilitate patient communication through the use of EHRs in the unit or ward level.
From a budgetary standpoint, it is evident that the benefits of using EHRs outweigh the costs as hospitals can substantially reduce healthcare-associated costs and expensive legal suits once they are able to reduce incidences of medication errors and deliver high-quality care to patients. Owing to the fact that a budget reflects the priorities, control of resources, and power within an organization, it becomes the role of the nurse manager to ensure the prioritization of technologies and processes that will improve patient care (Townsend et al., 2015). For example, nurse leaders can prioritize the adoption and use of EHRs in ward settings by ensuring they influence the control of resources and get the attention of senior managers who control power relations in the healthcare environment.
This paper has discussed the findings of the article using the lens of budgetary management. Overall, there is a need for nurse managers to use their budgetary insights to prioritize the adoption of emerging technology solutions that promise to improve patient care outcomes.
Bergh, A.L., Friberg, F., Persson, E., & Dahlborg-Lyckhage, E. (2015). Perpetuating new public management at the expense of nurses’ education: A discourse analysis. Nursing Inquiry, 22, 190-201. Web.
King, J., Patel, V., Jamoom, E.R., & Furukawa, M.F. (2014). Clinical benefits of electronic health record use: National findings. Health Services Research, 49(1), 392-404. Web.
Townsend, K., Wilkinson, A., & Keller, A. (2015). Opening the blackbox in nursing work and management practice: The role of ward managers. Journal of Nursing Management, 23, 211-220. Web.