Health Information Technology: Integration of Clinical Workflow into Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records
This article discusses the importance of including clinical workflow into the EHR implementation. Because EHRs can help improve patient care and outcomes by reducing medication errors, reducing costs, and providers are also required to document certain data known as “meaningful data”, it is important to adopt the use of an EHR. However, implementation of EHRs remains slow to adopt and some hindrances include fear of change, loss of confidentiality, cost, and disruption in workflow. 
The authors recommend having the following elements in order to successfully integrate the implementation of an EHR, capture meaningful use, and do this with little disruption to clinical workflow:
- ERH champion
- Leadership and change management
- Training, Integration of other technologies: PDAs, voice recognition software, data upload software
- Workflow assessment and evaluation
- Workflow redesign
The article discusses how even though implementation of an EMR for data collection for meaningful use can cause disruption in workflow, it is necessary. They discuss elements required to make the adoption of an EHR as easy and with little disruption to existing workflow.
The adoption of EHR in ambulatory care setting will eventually be widespread however, the success of this integration process will require multiple approaches. I agree with the author’s recommendations of the needs to successfully implement an EHR with little disruption. However, I do wish they would have given examples of a specific clinic going through the process.
- Bowens, F.M., MSM; Frye, P.A., MPH, MPS; Jones, W.A., MD. (2010). Health Information Technology: Integration of Clinical Workflow into Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2966355/