The Use of Clinical Systems to Improve Outcomes and Efficiencies

Clinical systems play a significant role in modern health care delivery. They improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients in various medical settings. The platforms enhance patient and health provider outcomes and the efficiency of services offered to diverse populations. Among the commonly used clinical systems include the health information systems, which contain patient data used throughout the care process. Although clinical systems are believed to have positive implications on outcomes and efficiencies, nurses should conduct a systematic review of the literature to draw evidence of their effectiveness.

Healthcare providers work in a highly demanding environment, which entails providing care to diverse patients. In addition, these medical professionals have always strived to implement ways to improve their work for greater efficiency and patient outcomes. According to Blijleven, Koelemeijer, Wetzels, and Jaspers (2017), electronic health record systems (EHRs) are effective in improving workflow for eventual outcomes, such as safety and quality of care. The authors focused their direct observations and follow-up semi-structured interviews on the scope and impact of EHRs on organizational workflows as well as outcomes of care services. Particularly, EHR workaround was revealed to improve patient safety, care effectiveness, and efficiency as long as they were adequately implemented and used by health care providers. The study has significant implications on the adoption, integration, and use of electronic health records in clinical settings. The systems can be implemented in various areas of the hospital, such as workarounds, bedside care, and admission. Generally, they should be part of organizational policy and regulations to improve patient care for improved efficiency and patient outcomes. The systems augment the interaction between patients and their care providers.

Studies have proven the impact of electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) in enhancing clinical and economic outcomes in healthcare facilities. Forrest et al. (2014) conducted a review of the literature to demonstrate the improvement in the outcomes following the implementation of EHRs and CDSSs. The results emanated from the role of the systems in clinicians and antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) that support better care delivery. While EHRs have been proven to advance care outcomes in hospitals, their integration with CDSSs is even more efficient. The technologies are useful in enhancing the current antimicrobial stewardship programs because they provide the necessary data to inform their implementation and use. The study has implications in practice due to the impact of their acceptance in supporting the work of nurses and other health care providers. Therefore, health care organizations should implement integrated systems in their technology acquisition projects to improve patient outcomes through optimum use of antimicrobial in their care settings. Hence, organization enjoys a return on investment by increasing the efficiency of their workforce and improving patient outcomes, including safety and satisfaction.

Further research reveals the actual impact of automated patient’s health record in real-life settings. Stadler, Donlon, Siewert, Franken, and Lewis (2016) focused their study on the use of the digitized patient’s health record and its impact on healthcare and medicine. The authors revealed that the actual effect of the systems emanates from the capacity to compile and improve the access to medical history of patients receiving care in a particular setting. The information helps them to have an unprecedented holistic account of family history, medical conditions, medications, procedures, and social situation. The study also revealed bedside benefits and efficiency in disease monitoring and research, which help in the development of effective health improvement programs. The analysis included a real case study, the Cerner Corporation that collaborates with health systems to support quality improvement projects. Stadler et al. (2016) indicated an impact on various outcomes, such as sepsis patient outcomes and hospital readmissions, from dashboard use to collect and manage patient’s data and generate the statistics and summaries on performance measures. The article has implications in practice relating to the creation of data in the form of easily digestible visuals that health care providers can understand and use to improve care.

Further research has lowered down to the particular use of clinical systems to support health care. Irizarry, Dabbs, and Curran (2015) conducted a review of the literature to examine the definition, background, and prevailing use of patient engagement through information systems, as well as the future direction in this area. They explored the implementation and use of patient portals as electronic personal health records that are connected to the institution-wide information system. They are tools with a promise of improving patient engagement, which is a critical part of patient-centered care. Their review discovered that patients’ interest and the capability to utilize the portals influence the outcomes of their interaction with the healthcare system significantly. Therefore, nurses and other care providers should support the use of systems to achieve efficiency and improve patient outcomes through successful patient engagement. The authors challenge care providers to identify particular populations as well as contextual factors that would be beneficial in terms of patient engagement through technologies such as patient portal. They should devise ways to support patients with the information systems to capitalize on their benefits.

Furthermore, researchers suggest that the actual impact of clinical systems in the efficiency and outcomes depends on meaningful use. In another systematic review of previous studies, Jones, Rudin, Perry, and Shekelle (2014) established the role of incentives in the use of health information systems in enhancing their application in providing care and improving various outcomes, including safety and quality. The researchers examined previous reviews as well as recent evidence relating to health information technology functionalities required by regulations relating to healthcare in the United States. From the analysis, evidence revealed the effectiveness of clinical support and computerized provider order entry in enhancing health care outcomes in the country. Nonetheless, Jones et al. (2014) found insufficient reports on the implementation and the context of their application in clinical settings. According to the review, the positive outcomes of the clinical systems emanates from their effective implementation and use of health care providers. Therefore, the results of the study have significant implications on the need for health care organizations to study their systems carefully and interoperability to acquire those with the most significant impact depending on the characteristics of their medical settings.

As is evident from the review of the literature, clinical systems emerged as the most critical developments to support efficiency and patient benefits in healthcare. Research provides evidence of the positive impact of such systems in care delivery. Nurses develop and use empirical findings to support decision-making to integrate clinical systems into the current health care models. Overall, the care providers apply such results to improve their contact and interactions with their patients.

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