Custom «Electronic Health Record» Essay Paper Sample

Electronic Health Record

The use of Electronic Health Record systems is regarded as one the advancement towards increasing efficiency and productivity, reducing costs, providing 24/7 accessibility to medical records, and improving clinical outcomes within health care delivery systems. EHR systems continue to be developed by about 300 vendors who keep improving their systems every day. However, it is clear on the ground that many of the health care providers do not view these systems as beneficial but instead, they regard it as a source of "frustration" where time and effort is lost. The reason for this is that, the EHR are regarded to be having usability problems, an attribute that has slowed its adoption within health care systems (Shephered, 2010)

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Many of the EHR are taken to be "cognitively burdensome and labor intensive to use" (Shephered, 2010, Para. 3). Many caregivers view EHR as lacking user-centered elements as users find it difficult to use them. These systems are said to be hard to use and users have to follow many steps as vendor put more focus on adding more feature thus breaking the workflow. This in turn reduces their productivity. Zhang asserts that vendors do little to involve users in designing the EHR. As a result, user performance is not factored in development process leading to poor user interfaces which often bring confusion and stress to the users (Shepherd, 2010). This hurts the vendor's reputation as well as poses safely risks for the patients.

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While this may be the picture of the current EHR systems, the solution rests on the vendors focusing on "human-centered design" (Shephered, 2010, Para. 15). To improve usability and perhaps increase adoption of EHR, research needs to be done so as transform data retrieval and display. Data visualization will improve data manipulation. Decision support can also be used in EHR systems to track discussion and reduce likelihood of errors in health care systems. Ford also suggests that patients can be allowed to enter data before coming to hospitals in future EHR in order to reduce time. Legislation is also necessary for EHR to be adopted (Shepherd, 2010).

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