In the practice in which I work as a nurse, there was a moderate policy change that took place two years ago that constituted a concerted change effort within the organization. Early on in our organization, we kept all of our health records on paper; each nurse would be responsible for writing specific records of patient visits and conditions down on physical records and keeping them organized. However, several years ago we made the decision to switch to an EMR (electronic medical record) format due to its ability to reduce or eliminate the costs of transcription, paper chart handling, paper chart storage, storage of film from legacy systems and more. Furthermore, it would promote greater efficiency in retrieving patient records and documentation. To that end, myself and other nurses and personnel within the practice were tasked to gradually enter existing paper documents into an electronic system chosen by the physician for the purpose of creating a comprehensive database of existing and past patients.
I was tasked to become a change agent toward this end in the practice; my duties included keeping other personnel on task in transferring existing paper documents to electronic format, and making sure new patients were entered exclusively in EMR format. The change was managed skillfully; I and the physician made sure the other nurses stayed on task, and were well-trained in the nuances of the new EMR system. To that end, the intended outcomes were met, as we were fully transitioned to an electronic system within two weeks. Change management was handled adequately, though there was potential room for a more effective and time-efficient transfer of the system (i.e. having nurses/personnel dedicated to data transfer while other nurses handled incoming patients, instead of the existing system where nurses had to work on data transfer during normal downtime).
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