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The transition from paper based records to electronic medical records is a much-awaited change. While this has many benefits like adept and integrated care, its full potential is only realised in the proper implementation of it. To ensure that all users of the electronic medical records gain maximum benefit from it, it is essential that this change be communicated in a manner that is understood by all. This holds challenges such as the impact it will have on various users like the physicians, the nurses and the patients, the staff concerns, creating an atmosphere that encourages participation, foreseeing and diverting obstacles, and outsourcing of additional resources if needed. Without proper communication and understanding of each one’s role along with the functionality of each aspect of the electronic medical records system, the long term drawbacks of this could be the disruption of trust between teams and also with the patients. That would additionally hinder the integrated care process that is essential in healthcare. This essay will format a leadership communication plan to be implemented for smooth transition. It will also compare other communication plans and elaborate on how to solve some of the problems that might occur during this transition process.
Reasons to adopt the fully electronic medical record system:
Electronic Medical Records additionally also allow for advantages that the patients may enjoy such as a more significant diagnosis, which then follows for more significant treatments. Their personal health records along with their medical history are maintained with fewer inaccuracies. Electronic medical records also make access to care and decision making quicker for the medical care professionals.
Adopting the Instrumental leadership approach, allows to choose particular strategies for fulfilment of different goals on various levels. This results in a sustainable and adaptable overall performance. This approach not only promotes quality transformation but also induces increased interaction amongst users. Instrumental leaders are an asset as they guarantee and safeguard performance and productivity. One of the most attractive features of this approach is the ability of the leaders to guide the path of the sub-ordinates in a safe and considerate manner. Other duties of an instrumental leadership include creating strategies, effective and calculated use of resources and giving non-biased feedback.
In comparison to the Relational Leadership style which focuses more on people and relationships, the Instrumental leadership approach is far more comprehensive and advanced as it allows for growth at every stage which eventually leads to overall growth collectively. Relational Leadership does not account for the task-based development and duties of the leaders that are necessary for organisations and its users’ outputs. Whereas, Instrumental leadership leaves no room for conflict in ideals or relationships. In fact, it safeguards cooperation between the workforce and the work environment. Such leaders allow for a continuous link between patients and caretakers and enhance monitoring of their patients’ needs and concerns.
While leadership approaches account for almost all aspects of user experience, there will always be some or more resistance from various different strata. Irrespective of the widespread benefits of EMR, there have been several barriers inhibiting its adoption. Some barriers include in the financial aspects like high capital cost and low return of investments for small scale practices, but more addressable resistances include underestimating the change and a deficiency in resources that are skilful and help in implementation and support of the change.
Adaptation to big changes like this require proper preparedness and the abilities of the management need to be on full alert. This requires comprehensive and detailed planning and nothing should be underestimated. This can be addressed by preparing all users for the upcoming change well in advance. Providing step-by-step kits that includes guides, infographics, interesting videos, and a map that journey’s the changes ahead. These kits will also be helpful in letting people open up about their fears which can then be addressed in a meaningful manner.
Another major resistance to the adaptation of this new system is the apprehension that the required guidance to adopt the system will not be met. This can be overcome by constant engagement and prior evidenced assurances. Reinforce the capabilities and contribution of each team member to create an enabling environment. Involve the members in decision-making processes so they know they are part of the change and their participation is critical for successful implementation of the system. Address any behaviour that withholds the positive growth of the adaptation. Remain objective and focus more on mutually beneficial solutions. Scheduling regular meetings and listening to the members will allow leaders to catch potential problems or problematic thinking.
The success of any organisation, system or idea lies in the execution of it. The implementation of Electronic Medical Records is paramount as the benefits are extensive and cater to a wide user base. So the formation of a proper and precise leadership communication plan is the first step in the endeavour. We must strive to address any and all aspects on how to efficiently communicate this shift to all members. This implementation isn’t the responsibility of just the leaders or certain departments but this depends of the contribution of every member in the healthcare unit. Everyone is responsible for their growth and contribution to make the transition. They are responsible to pay attention to the training provided, implement the feedback advised and read all notifications and emails that convey necessary information. This implementation will be a transformative experience for many within this industry including those who have been accustomed to the paper-based method for many years. This also means the patients, not just the healthcare workers. With the implementation of the new system patients themselves can have access to their medical records and can be advocates for their health.
As any other large-scale change, proper management of communication around the implementation of EMRs is crucial. In many such large-scale changes, it is easy to diminish the value and reduce the allotted time for implementation. Such mistakes must be avoided. Proper communication through an effective nurse unit manager could lead to smooth change and allow for success.
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