Today, more and more hospitals and other health care institutions try to improve their performance and advance the level of convenience of the working process for both patients and employees. In the world of rapidly developing technologies, implementing the electronic health records (EHR) system is one of the most popular and successful decisions for health care organizations. Although the above-mentioned program is very effective, it still requires time and effort for staff to get used to this framework. Nurses play a crucial role in this process doing the major part of work and helping other employees to learn the program.
Introducing a New System to Nurses
Introducing the new method of work is always a challengeable task because people are conservative by their nature. As a result, personnel will show a certain level of resistance to changes even if they bring positive modification to their performance that will lead to general improvements in productivity. The adaptation of a new EHR system among nurses requires a specific strategy that will assist in overcoming the possible difficulties and resistance to such a transformation (Bates, 2010). According to this fact, the meeting with nurses that will be dedicated to adoption of a new EHR system should be organized carefully in advance taking into consideration the possible challenges.
The first step of this strategy is to introduce a new EHR system as an easy and beneficial modification (Rogers, 2003). At this stage, it is important to address only the positive changes and do not mention the negative consequences. Nurses ought to be attracted by a new system, especially by its simplicity and necessity. The next step consists of comparing the new system with the existing one, demonstrating the advantages that one receives with the adaptation of an innovation (Rogers, 2003). During this stage, it is crucial to raise the common problems that nurses often face working with the current system and how these problems will be eliminated with adaptation of a new one.
The third step comprises of introducing the new EHR system as a simple and easy-to-learn innovation (Rogers, 2003). Nurses should believe that they can easily master the new strategy and it will not cause additional difficulties to their ordinary style of work. In order to prove that the new system is easy and simple in usage, it is necessary to give an opportunity for nurses to try it. In this way, practitioners receive a possibility to test the new system on their own and view the discussed advantages on practice. Finally, the last step which ought to totally ensure nurses in the benefits of the new system is the examples of its success in other hospitals (Rogers, 2003). One may provide the statistical data from a hospital that has already adapted this system, demonstrating how the productivity of nurses has increased after the innovation was implemented. In this regard, the doubts of nurses concerning the new system should disappear because they will view it as an advantageous, simple, effective and practical. In addition, testing it on practice will allow an opportunity to ensure that the system really corresponds to its description.
However, even if the meeting will be successful and the majority of nurses will support the new system, there is also a possibility that a certain percentage of nurses will resist to these changes. In such a case, it is necessary to prepare to such situation beforehand because the aforementioned circumstance does not depend on a system itself or the quality of its presentation. The resistance to innovations is a common situation and the best way to overcome it is to ensure the nurses that they will not be left on their own with a new system. Moreover, there will be special trainings and meeting for those who experience difficulties with a new EHR. The experts will always offer their assistance in understanding a new program, and the nurses can always contact them if they have any issues.
The Role of Nurses as Change Agents in Facilitating the Adoption of New Technology
Nurses’ role as change agents in facilitating the adoption of the new technology should not be underestimated since they can become exceedingly helpful in successful implementation of EHR in the scope of organizational performance. In this respect, nursing staff can be a great contributor in physicians’ engagement with the new technology. When a nurse is occupied in the implementation and use of the EHR system, the rate of the system’s usage and its adoption is much higher (Cresswell & Sheikh, 2009). Being rather attentive to the needs of nurses and the way they can contribute to the entry of patient information is a good approach in helping physicians to save data entry hours. Besides, the procedure will obviously provide higher adoption rates throughout the use of the system.
However, nurses’ computer skills and experience in operations with electronic information often determine the level in light of which the practitioners are able to perceive the technology and productively adopt the EHR. While some nurses adopt the program enthusiastically and consider the strategy as extremely helpful and convenient, others may find it challenging to change their paper charts for electronic ones. Nurses, as well as physicians, bring a distinct point of view throughout the period of the system’s implementation. Removing barriers is an essential perspective in a successful EHR adoption (Cresswell & Sheikh, 2009). Thus, there is a great need to have nurses drawn in the EHR deployment. In this way, ensuring their clear focus on the key issues can significantly help to lead the hospital team to a higher EHR acceptance rate.