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Busting Myths One Study at a Time

The one constant about change is no one really likes it. That’s especially true when talk of adopting new technology surfaces in a healthcare setting. So you might be surprised by the results of three studies that look at nurses’ perceptions about the adoption of EHRs discussed in a recent article in Healthcare Technology Management (HMT).

You’ll note my name at the top of the page as a co-author of this article. More importantly, you’ll also see the bylines of three nursing administrators with whom I worked to examine the effect automated systems have on what nurses do every day and how they impact patient outcomes.

Check out the article for detailed results of the studies undertaken at two large urban hospitals and one rural community hospital in the article. In a nutshell, what we discovered is the widely held view that nurses do not welcome changes to their workflow is a myth. Instead, once the healthcare staff understands the benefits of automation, they highly rank the benefits of the system.

This paragraph from the story nicely summarizes what nursing staffs reported as the benefits of adopting EHRs.

While each hospital conducted its own customized study, they all produced similar, positive results. Instead of balking at implementing new systems, the studies found that EHRs enable nurses to:

  • Spend more time with patients;
  • Improve coordination of care;
  • Reduce time spent documenting patient care; and
  • Deliver safer care with fewer medication errors.

Change can be intimidating, but when the outcome produces that many positive benefits, it’s easier to handle. That’s true every time.

Have you experienced resistance to change amongst co-workers when it comes to adopting new technology? Or, as an industry, has automation become so ingrained in everyday workflow that new advancements are more readily welcomed? Share your thoughts below.

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About the author

Steven H. Shaha, Ph.D., DBA, is a Professor at the Center for Policy & Public Administration, and the Principal Outcomes Consultant for Allscripts. Dr. Shaha received his first doctorate in Research Methods and Applied Statistics from UCLA and has taught and lectured at universities including Harvard, University of Utah, UCLA, Princeton, Cambridge and others. An internationally recognized thought leader, lecturer, consultant and outcomes researcher, Dr. Shaha has provided advisory and consulting work to healthcare organizations including the National Institutes for Health (NIH), and to over 50 non-healthcare corporations including RAND Corp, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Disney, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, and Time Warner. Dr. Shaha has presented over 200 professional papers, has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in print, over 35 technical notes and two books. He served on the 15-member team that authored and piloted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Health Care, and he contributed to the Baldrige for Education.

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