Electronic health records still not problem-free

While electronic health records have started to take hold in the industry and indisputably offer benefits in certain areas compared to paper-based recordkeeping, their implementation and use is still causing problems and generating opposition.

National Nurses United, an advocacy group for those in the nursing profession that calls itself the largest such organization in the country, has come out against EHR on the basis of patient safety, according to Healthcare IT News. The group, which counts about 185,000 nurses among its members and has representation in all 50 states, opposes EHR because of the issues created by relatively untested new technologies. It also says there is potential risk to receiving timely healthcare when an EHR storage and access system is inoperable due to technical malfunctions. As opposed to paper records, there are circumstances where providers could be in a position to render aid but not have access to critical information about patient history, allergies and other considerations.

In another instance of the rocky road that is sometimes created during EHR implementation and use, the president and CEO of the Georgia-based Athens Regional Medical Center resigned after a bungled installation process that included limited initial accessibility. Modern Healthcare reported that medication errors and other problems were caused by an aggressive timeline for use that left some physicians unready to use the system. Following a no confidence vote from staff on May 22, President and CEO James Thaw resigned days later.

A healthcare technology that can only boost efficiency
While the transformative nature of EHR systems require a careful approach with training, implementation and use, there are other technological advantages a healthcare provider can use to improve the effectiveness of certain areas of operation and save money. JumpStock, our cloud based inventory management system for healthcare providers, allows hospitals and clinics to have better supply chain management practices while driving down costs and reducing the time needed to record stock levels and order new items.

Because JumpStock uses the smartphones and tablets employees already own, the hardware costs are minimal. Similarly, the implementation is a quick, easy process: Many healthcare systems report being up and fully operational in just a few days when using JumpStock. Requisition-to-order cycles and costs drop, employees spend less time manually counting inventory and purchasing compliance increases by standardizing the tracking and ordering processes. Although not all new healthcare technologies can be easily installed and used, JumpStock provides an almost immediate benefit.