Assignment: The Healthcare Environment
The healthcare environment has grown more complex and continues to evolve every day. Unfortunately, the complexities that help clinicians to deliver better care and improve patient outcomes also take a toll on the clinicians themselves. This toll is exemplified through hours spent learning new technology, loss in productivity as the user adjusts and adapts to new technology, and unintended workflow consequences from the use of technology.
Despite the perceived negative downstream effects to end users and patients as a result of technology, this very same technology can improve efficiency and yield a leaner healthcare environment. The intent of this chapter is to outline the driving forces that create the need to redesign workflow as well as to elucidate what the nurse needs to know about how to conduct workflow redesign, measure the impact of workflow changes, and assess the impact of meaningful use.
Workflow Analysis Purpose
According to the American Association for Justice ( 2016 ),
Research has confirmed that 440,000 people die every year because of preventable medical errors. That is equivalent to almost the entire population of Atlanta, Georgia dying from a medical error each year. Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States and cost our country tens of billions of dollars a year. (para. 1)
Not only is there an impact on patients and their families from these errors, but there is also a significant financial impact on healthcare organizations. Clearly, we must minimize these errors, and one of the most important tools for this purpose is the use of electronic health records and information systems to provide point-of-care decision support and automation. The key point is that most of these errors are preventable and we must find ways to prevent them.
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