The healthcare industry has widely adopted IT solutions in the development and maintenance of information systems for this sector. These information system applications will go a long way in boosting medical care goals by reducing costs significantly, increasing efficiency in the process and achieving a zero error. With this, client satisfaction will be realized. At the core of this is the electronic medical records (EHR) which is representative of all the health information of an individual that is available in a database and can be shared across healthcare service providers (Rouse, 2016). Also integral to this system are two components; mobile health (mHealth) and telehealth (telemedicine). Though the two are interconnected, they have a slight difference. Telehealth includes home monitoring of health conditions through desktops, laptops and other online material (Terry, 2016), while mobile health is restricted to mobile devices.
Considering the impact of electronic medical records (EHR), it is the best choice to get started on digitalized healthcare in this setup. The key motivators for the implementation of EHR in a medical start up are: greater efficiency in the delivery of health services, enhanced client and service provider safety and affordability of healthcare services. With this achieved, there will be increased accessibility to healthcare services. Accurate information is key to good medical care, without which it would not be possible to make proper diagnosis and accurate decisions. Healthcare workers therefore need to be empowered with the correct tools to help them care for the patients, record and transfer information in a way that meets the regulatory requirements of the accrediting organization (Odenkule, 2016)
Team members and their roles
The team will comprise of physicians, nurses, physician assistants, records management staff, administration offers and other auxiliary staff. The clinical team is responsible both for educating their peers on the EHR implementation and constantly giving feedback about the process to the team charged with implementation. Three key people to consider are: The lead physician who is in charge of the execution and also connects the backend and the front end of this implementing team. They should be active in clinical practice. Second is the project manager who connects the EHR supplier with the implementing team, they keep track of the milestones, tracking the progress and addressing the day to day issues that may come up. Lastly is the lead super user who customizes the EHR software to the organizational needs and creates workflows and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deal with issues raised by front-line users (Hodgkins, n.d)
Setting goals and empowering the team
According to WHO, goals are broad statements that describe the overall expected improvements related to the implementation of EHR (WHO,2017). The next stage is to harness clear goals derived from the situational analysis. This is the role of the coordinating team and implementation committee and the aim is to clarify the interventions to make it possible to measure outcomes in the future. Without this it will not be possible to know what progress has been made. Below are examples in which EHR can be implemented successfully in this environment.
Minimize hours spent tracing patient files.
EHR will allow for all patient data to be accessible from anywhere, at anytime with ease. With this, there will be continuity of care for example from one ward to the laboratory or from one clinician to the next on duty.
· With clinicians having different handwritings, EHR will go a long way in improving readability of medical records.
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· Improved administration of drugs prescribed by use of on- screen alerts.
· Significantly minimize paper work due to the use of online records for laboratory results and other medical records that can be kept digitally.
· This will save on a lot of time that was previously used in manual filing of patient records.
· By being able to scan, send and attach documents, clinicians will be able to save on time waiting for the physical delivery of results.
· Easy transfer of patient records from one facility to another.
· Reduction in errors which occur while manually copying data from one chart to another.
It is critical for the team member to understand their role in helping the team successfully implement EHR. Most times, the team members already understand the role that they play in the team, what they need is for the leader to guide them on how to best get that role done. The team leader should create a conducive environment for the realization of the goals of the team. They should also equip the team with the right tools to help them achieve this. It is also important to recognize the unique abilities of each team member, their particular strengths and how they contribute to the overall vision of the team. Is does not matter how well or poorly a team member is performing, your value for them as a human being should never diminish and should always be evident (Heathfield, 2017)
As a leader, you should draw in the team to a vision that is bigger than themselves or their personal role in the team. Let them understand that they are a big part of the vision, mission and goals of the whole organization. It works best when you involve all team members in the planning and setting of goals. Let them contribute their ideas, opinions and insights at the key stage of goal setting, which will help them own the vision. When the whole team is looking up to a common goal, then you are looking to achieve the same deliverables and success indicators. When employees are empowered, they can achieve results even without anyone looking over their shoulder.
The value of proper delegation cannot be overemphasized. This means that you delegate not only tasks that people may not like, but also the exciting and motivating work that is enjoyable. Give your team members a chance to shine with good projects. Do not directly spoon feed your team members on how to carry out delegated tasks. Instead, provide an environment where they can ask questions and seek clarifications. In the end, you will discover that they actually know what to do and this will give you confidence in knowing that they can handle the situation competently on their own. This means that you can leave them to handle such situation in their future, because you are confident in the judgment they will make (Heathfield,2017).
Another important consideration to make is the team members’ morale. They need to feel recognized, appreciated and well compensated for the efforts that they put in. When team members are not empowered, they will not deliver results. To achieve successful empowerment, you need to recognize any extra effort put in, trust their good will to do the right thing, make right choices and also allow them to work with minimal supervision. Also, when it comes to giving directions, you must be clear on.....