Change is important in any organization if progress has to be achieved. Furthermore, it is inevitable and hence necessary for the members of staff to adapt to try and adapt to the changes. Technology is one of the areas that experiences frequent modifications with the focus being on improving various approaches such that life is better or rather convenient. The transformation can be in the modes of communication, methods of conducting activities and also movement. It is worth noting that the public health sector is one of the sectors that experiences variations with the frequent developments in technology. New and efficient methods have been and are developing such that both the experiences of the practitioners and the patients are made better. The subject of focus, in this case, is the adoption of an electronic health records system in an environment where the nurses are finding it difficult to address the transformation.
Rodger (2003) highlighted the significance of innovation in the improvement of systems. He describes the use of technology as an approach used in the reduction of the ambiguity found in the cause and effect situations required in order to obtain the targeted outcome. He brings into perspective the aspects of hardware and software whereby he describes hardware as the material or physical part of technology while the software is the information section of technology (not tangible). The software is approached as an innovation of technology tends to have a low level of adoption. In regards to adoption, Rodgers perceives it as the entire use of technology in the most convenient way while the absence of adoption is referred to as rejection (Rogers, 2003).
The EHR system if adopted will transform the normal way the nurses have been carrying out their operations, and therefore the nurses are the lead change agents for the adoption of this new technology. They will advocate for the use of the system on the bottom line of various factors but not limited to compatibility; the nurses are going to either embrace or reject the new technology based on their previous past experiences that might have been introduced, the values stated in their code of conduct which governs them and also their present needs which include being able to correctly determine the dosage of medicine to be administered and the patients health records.
The nurses as change agents look for assurance that learning the skills required to use the new technology is going to be an adventure and they are going to love it. The fear of losing the already established and usual patterns of work and behavior ought to be challenged in that adoption of the technology, the workflows to be established are going to be easier to follow as most of the physical movements would have been reduced; the data is now easily sent from one point to another and in the real time thereby facilitating improved provision of medical care.
As agents of change for the adoption of the new technology nurses should be allowed time to process the incoming change as a result of the implementation of the new technology. Physicians require time to understand how the new technology is going to not only make their work easy but also, make it more enjoyable. The nurses will have to explain the relative of the machine to their colleagues and be able to make them clearly understand that, the technology will only work to double their efforts in providing improved health care to the patients. This can be achieved through pointing out the direct and indirect benefits that the technology is bringing on board such as reduced workload as much of the work will now be done by the computers, they can now be able to record more significant data about the patients which are easily retrievable later and also be able to get a patients health history as compared to depending on the patient's memory or manual records which are tedious and are prone to being lost (Page, 2011).
Lastly, the nurses as change agents have the first-hand information of the needs and desires of their department. Every change starts with a need to gain or have something done in an improved way and also bearing in mind that change also requires persuasion, the nurses are at all times in a better-placed position to persuade their fellow nurses into accepting the new technology. The communication from nurses as change agents and leaders of the adoption of the new technology breaks the probable resistance that would have arisen if the same was to be carried out by the management. The nurses as change agents are also able to identify who among their colleagues will be risk takers, hedgers, waiters, skeptics and slow pokes and as a result, be able to come up with appropriate ways to communicate the intended change to them effectively.
Change is an unending process for any organization that has a perpetual future and with it, come alterations and new adoptions that are t be made if the desired result are to be achieved. In coming with an EHR system that is supposed to use by the nurses, various factors need to be considered and addressed. First, the initiator has to determine the vision and benefits that accompany the EHR system, any change occurring faces resistance from the users it affects and therefore, a clear communication has to be to be put in place to thoroughly and exhaustively explain the vision of the system to be introduced and which should be in line the general vision of the hospital such as to be the leading healthcare organization in the region. The benefits ought to be shared with the nurses also for them to feel like part of the organization and therefore develop the right attitude in embracing the change. Second, the existing culture ought to be examined for its the largely the way the nurses have been carrying out their duties; workflows chain of who reports to who, specialization of duties and the quantity of work done by each nurse, shifts and even the level of contact between and the patients (Swab, Joe, & Ciotti, 2010). The EHR system should be designed in a manner that it fosters the existing culture and if the culture is to be disrupted, the change initiator ought to first explain to the nurses the areas to be affected and as to why.
In addition, it should be user-friendly; the EHR system to be adopted should be free from any complexity that the nurses can perceive as hard to use. The user manual ought to explain steps sequentially and logically and in a language easily understood. The freedom of the nurses is also very important because if they feel the machine is limiting their freedom, they are bound to resist its adoption.
D, P. (2011). Turning nurses into health IT superusers. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 6 January 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21591563
Rogers, E. (2003). Diffusion of innovations, 5th edition (1st ed.). [Place of publication not identified]: Free Press.
Swab, Joe, & Ciotti,. (2010). what to consider when purchasing an EHR system. Retrieved 6 January 2017, from http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/50302528/what-consider-when-purchasing-ehr-system
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