As far as EMR is concerned creating an efficient design for the interactive database is a critical practice that should be put in consideration in order to develop a reliable system. Therefore, developers should create design without or with minimal pitfalls to deriver effective database. However, there are common pitfalls that are involved in the developing of a database system. These pitfalls are harmful to the database platform and avoiding them is an effective measure to mitigate problems in the future.
Lack of strategic plan is identified as a major pitfall when developing a database. For as effective implementation of EMR, or any other database, poor strategic planning will result into difficulties while undertaking the process. A strategic plan therefore provides a significant opportunity to direct the entire function of the database in planning of various measures. Therefore, it is important for the developers to emphasis on eliminating poor planning in order to deriver a database that will enable the users to set up goals to determine the success and take control of the entire process.
Poor naming standards are a common pitfall that is experienced when developing a database design. The terminologies that are applied in the database should be universal so that the users are able to clearly understand the intended factions of the system. Choosing the correct names is an element of the database system that is usually neglected and can have considerable effects on future development and usability of the system. Therefore, the developers should make sure that the consistency in the database is at the top priority by conforming to meaningful conventions.
Another pitfall is the lack of the documentation when designing and creating database. The lack of documentation is a common problem that is experienced not only to database design but also to all other types of programming. There are various development pitfalls committed by developers who create off-color documented code due to the previous written errors by the past generations. Failure to record changes accurately and regularly impact on problems that might affect the database development in future.
As the result of the pitfalls of the database design, the planning phase of the EMR is unable to identify an effective opportunity to map various planning measures. Consequently, the institution applying the EMR system is prone to poor workflow analysis, data conversion from hard copy to soft copy as well as determining the information to convert. The users are also challenged in planning for redesigning modern EMR workflows, determining of documentation methods, software and hardware testing. In order to make EMR adoption an evolution system, proper planning must be outlined to facilitate the functioning of EMR with reduced staff frustration and increased in productivity.
The majority of the people who are involved in creating medical records are nurses who are unfamiliar with the EMR technology. Therefore, poor naming standards can adversely result into the performance of the nurses and doctors as they struggle to identify the uncustomary naming. This tends to bring about the inconsistency within the institution and many users of the EMR may find it ineffective. In other words the untrained user s take more time in trying to figure out the meaning of the unfamiliar words than with the patient. Poor naming improves the likelihood of costly misinterpretations by providing a challenge to identify commonly used terms, naming conventions, and even commonly-used strategy patterns. To mitigate this situation, various conventions should be applied in the database naming. For instance, for recording a patient name, “patient_name” or “patientName”, can be used.
On the other hand, documentation is regarded a key element in the EMR system with regard to provision of efficient and safe patient care. Without an effective documentation on the database, there are low tendency of knowledge transfer for the upcoming developers and analysts, and poor vendor representative and integration. Therefore, future integrating testing and customizations or other changes to the EMR system become hard to attain. As a result more cost is incurred in training to the new users and the existing staffs. In addition, improper documentation increases the risk in the institution during the system upgrade or extension. Thus, proper documentation should be applied to create a common language between in the health institutions.
In conclusion, adopting an effective EMR is the most significant decision that is made by various health institutions. However, for the system to be effective, the database should be designed with minimal pitfalls. A number of pitfalls in such a system may result into a great challenge rather than a tool of efficiency in the institution. EMR is a critical system that it there are too many pitfalls may lead to inefficiency in various aspects. These aspects involve current methods of documentation, scheduling, billing practices, methods of patient follow-ups, billing practices and communication processes. Significantly, the developers of the EMR system should consider all the pitfalls that hinder the changes to occur in the system and mitigate them to enhance successful implementation of the system.
Connolly,T., & Begg, C. (2005). Database systems: A practical guide to design, implementation, and management. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley
Gillenson, M. L. (2005). Fundamentals of database management systems. Danvers, MA: Wiley