February 22, 2023
The feature set of EHR software for nursing care facilities slightly differs from that of general practitioners because most patients have chronic conditions that have to be monitored by medical personnel over long periods.
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Integrating an EHR for nurses with your organization’s software or third-party applications enables safer and faster data transfer, optimizes workflows, and improves patient outcomes.
Our experts recommend considering the following aspects when choosing EHR software for nurses.
On-premise systems are more customizable and secure and work well in areas with poor internet connection. They, however, cannot be accessed from outside the facility, are trickier to back up, and not as interoperable as cloud-based solutions. The latter are more flexible, can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and their maintenance and backups are the vendor's responsibility. Their drawbacks include obligatory good internet connection and the introduction of strict data government policy at the facility.
In order to receive the Meaningful Use reimbursement and protect patient data, opt for systems that are developed according to privacy and security regulations, standards, and protocols for health information technology: HIPAA, GDPR, OWASP, FHIR, FDA, etc.
Make sure the EHR or EMR of your choice covers your organization’s requirements. For this, consult with clinicians and nurse practitioners to learn their EHR expectations and needs. Yet, do not pick “the more the better” approach, as an overly feature-rich system will cost you a lot more and pose a greater risk of burnout to the staff.
The amount of patient data grows exponentially every year, new technologies are being developed and adopted in health IT, and government regulations are updated accordingly. Check with your vendor to make sure they regularly update and expand their EHR system.
Major workflow disruptions due to system downtime and the disappearance of patient information remain one of the top concerns for nurses. Make sure that your EHR solution has backup options, is sufficiently supported by the vendor, and its capabilities fit your recovery time objective.
MatrixCare solutions showed an 88.3% satisfaction rate among users, according to the 2021 KLAS Performance Report. The company offers a variety of solutions for all types of care organizations: nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, and home care professionals.
Charting is done electronically as care is given, so staff can spend more time with patients providing the care they need and deserve [thanks to the MaxtrixCare solution].
While valuable to nurses in the first place, EHR also brings advantages to care providers, patients, and long-term care organizations.
Chart title: Positive changes in nursing teams after EHR implementation
Data source: ScienceDirect
Most nursing homes and hospitals have seen the impact of electronic health records starting with increased efficiency. Nurses can spend less time on sifting through documentation during their shifts and have more time and energy left for patient-related tasks and training. Additionally, as EHRs facilitate information exchange, their adoption can improve care coordination between departments.
Electronic health records provide nursing home staff with timely and accurate patient information, which allows for more accurate decision making and personalized care delivery. Document management automation also enables nurses to spend more time tending to patients’ needs, while EHRs’ analytical capabilities help predict possible condition changes and make more data-based clinical decisions.
EHR implementation in nursing homes and long-term care facilities helps identify and eliminate inefficient procedures for patients, like excessive lab tests or medical imaging, and better distribute facilities’ spaces, like grouping beds according to patients’ conditions.
Medical errors can have devastating repercussions for post-acute care facilities: damaged reputation, thousands of dollars in lawsuit losses, or even a revoked license. According to two nationwide studies, 37% of nurses believe that EHRs help to prevent medication errors. Additionally, this type of nursing home software eliminates duplicates in documentation and enhances the accuracy of input information.
Despite the proven benefits of electronic health records, some nurses are still reluctant to use them. Let’s take a look at the most significant challenges of EHR implementation and how to solve them.
User burnout due to cognitive overload
Nurses reported significantly reduced burnout levels after optimizing the data entry interface. Therefore, the EHR system should be tuned to the specific healthcare environment to avoid overburdening nurses with information they don’t need.
Gaps in care during system downtime
Any medical organization reliant on EHRs and other healthcare software needs an actionable emergency strategy in case of system downtime (e.g., during a blackout or lost internet connection). It may include backups, remote access from mobile devices, and sufficient personnel emergency training.
Lack of required functionality
Nurses’ opinions should be taken into account during the earliest stages of EHR adoption. It’s essential to implement the system functionally most aligned with the facility’s operations. Most EHRs for nurses can be further tuned and modified to more specific requirements by experienced developers.
More than 90% of nurses reported burnout after the COVID pandemic, which led to nationwide nursing personnel shortages. Still, healthcare organizations of all specialties and sizes cannot afford to lose their nurses due to overload with administrative tasks, stress over incoherent patient information, and frustration with unoptimized workflows. Our team is ready to help hospitals and long-term care facilities implement EHR solutions to boost their nurses’ productivity and well-being through the automation of routine document management tasks, patient management facilitation, and data-sharing across organizations. Whether you need help to choose and implement a new system, modernize legacy software, or migrate patient data from one system to another – don’t hesitate to contact us.
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